CHICAGO - The judge overseeing Detroit's historic municipal bankruptcy ruled Monday that creditors can appeal directly to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit his recent rulings that the city is eligible for Chapter 9 and that pensions are not automatically protected in bankruptcy.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Steven Rhodes during a hearing said he would certify a direct appeal, allowing creditors to bypass the district court level. He did not rule immediately about whether he supported an expedited appeal process. Rhodes ruled the city eligible for bankruptcy Dec. 3.

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