CHICAGO — Detroit defended its right to enter into bankruptcy Friday in a 135-page court paper that tackles creditors' objections one by one and offers a few glimpses into arguments it may use down the road to justify proposals to cut pensions protected by the Michigan Constitution.

The filing comes ahead of the first hearing in a two-stage trial beginning later this month to determine if the city is eligible to enter into Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. If approved by the federal courts, the case would become the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

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