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Justices Mull ‘Close Case’ Over US Bank Pension Standing (1)

Jan. 13, 2020, 5:58 PMUpdated: Jan. 13, 2020, 7:55 PM

A legal battle over whether U.S. Bank NA retirees have standing to challenge the alleged mismanagement of their pension plan presents a “close case” for the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh said during oral argument today.

Kavanaugh’s questioning focused on the tension between the long history of trust law—which he suggested supported bank retiree James Thole’s standing to sue—and the fact that it was extremely unlikely that the bank’s challenged conduct threatened Thole’s ability to receive his promised pension benefits.

It would be “odd for us to grant standing” where the chances that benefits will be lost “are...

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