The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington. Photo by DB King via Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to San Diego’s 2012 pension reform Monday when it declined to hear the city’s appeal of a lower court decision.

The California Supreme Court ruled in August that the city erred in the way the pension cuts for new public employees were placed on the ballot as Proposition B in 2012.

Carl DeMaio, the author of the pension reform, said he was disappointed but not surprised by the high court’s decision not to intervene and would continue to fight for the reforms.

“The Supreme Court accepts only 100-150 cases of over 7000 it receives each year, so while we are disappointed, we are not too surprised that the U.S. Supreme Court did not weigh in,” DeMaio said in a statement.

“Prop. B pension reform is a citizens initiative that is protected under the California Constitution and we continue to assert all of the legal remedies afforded to prevent it from being illegally overturned,” he added.

The top court’s inaction means state courts will have to resolve the case, including whether to financially compensate 4,000 city employees who don’t have pensions because of the voter-approved measure.

The legality of the ballot measure had been challenged in a long-running lawsuit by four city labor unions.

Prop. B was approved by 65 percent of San Diego voters in June 2012. It made San Diego the only California city to discontinue traditional pensions for new hires, who instead have the 401(k)-style retirement plans used in the private sector.

Show comments