CalPERS Files Amicus Brief In Titanomachy With San Bernardino

Hesiod’s Theogony tells the story of the birth of the Greek gods.  The first gods were not the Olympians, but the Titans (who were in turn the children of Heaven (Oὐρανόσ) and Earth (Γαῖα)).  Cronos, the leader of the Titans, feared that his children would displace and in a shocking case of theophagy swallowed his children as they were birthed by his divine consort, Rhea:

τῷ ὅ γ᾽ ἄρ᾽ οὐκ ἀλαὸς σκοπιὴν ἔχεν, ἀλλὰ δοκεύων παῖδας ἑοὺς κατέπινε: Ῥέην δ᾽ ἔχε πένθος ἄλαστον (but he [Cronos] not blind, watched closely the birth and was gulping down the children: Rhea was seized with insufferable grief)

Theogony 466-67 (my translation).  However, when it came time for Zeus’ birth, Rhea contrived to substitute a stone swathed in swaddling clothes.  Eventually Zeus vomited up his children and the Titans were overcome by the Olympian gods led by Zeus.  The story touches on a primal fear of parents (fathers, in particular) that they will be overcome by their offspring.

“Here the sons of adversity meet the children of calamity . . .”

CalPERS apparently has the same fear.  Last Friday, CalPERS announced that it had filed an amicus brief in support of its sister agencies, the State Department of Finance and the Office of the State Controller, in their wrangle with the City of San Bernardino over tax revenues relating to the dissolution of the City’s redevelopment agency and the operations of the Successor Agency.  CalPERS’ release describes its brief as follows:

In its filing, CalPERS outlines why the 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects State agencies, like the Pension Fund, from being haled into federal court against their will by a municipality, which is a creation of the State of California.

CalPERS’ complaint, however, has nothing to do with the 11th Amendment which limits suits in federal court against states.  See Can CalPERS Be Sued In Federal Court Or Perhaps Even New York State Court? Rather, the complaint argues that the 10th Amendment  (reserving powers to the states and the people) bars suit against a state agency against its will in a Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceeding.


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