In the March 21st installment of Muni Minute The Bond Buyer's 60-second video series that examines a top municipal market story that will impact the coming week we take a look at Puerto Rico and the U.S. Supreme Court, which is set to hear arguments in a debt restructuring case that has implications far beyond the island.
VOICE OVER: The US Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a Puerto Rico case that has implications far beyond the island.
On Tuesday a seven-member high court will listen to the commonwealth's reasons why it wants a legal right to restructure it's public utilities debt. Justice Alito has recused himself from the case and a replacement for the late Justice Scalia has not yet been approved. Puerto Rico is appealing rulings that backed bondholders who say the commonwealth's recovery act which lets the territory's utilities restructure their debt is illegal under federal bankruptcy law.
The high court could rule against Puerto Rico and uphold previous rulings that the recovery act is illegal or it could rule for the territory and let the act take effect or Congress could take action that supersedes any high court ruling. The commonwealth and its public utilities owe billions to bondholders so the court's decision could reverberate beyond narrow legalities and directly affect those in the U.S. who hold the islands municipal bonds.
I'm Chip Bonnet and this has been your Muni minute.