High court clears way for Chrysler sale

June 9, 2009 4:36:43 PM PDT
The Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the way for Chrysler's sale to Fiat, turning down a last-ditch bid by opponents of the deal. The court rejected a plea to block the sale of most of Chrysler's assets to the Italian automaker. Chrysler, Fiat and the Obama administration had warned that the high court's intervention could have scuttled the sale.

A federal appeals court in New York had earlier approved the sale, but gave opponents until Monday afternoon to try to get the Supreme Court to intervene.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ordered a temporary delay just before a 4 p.m. deadline on Monday.

Now the court has freed the automakers to complete their deal.

The opponents include a trio of Indiana pension plans, consumer groups and individuals with product-related lawsuits.

The court issued a brief, unsigned opinion explaining its action. To obtain a delay, or stay, someone must show that at least four of the nine justices find that the issue raised is serious enough to warrant hearing a full appeal and that a majority of the court will conclude the lower court decision was wrong.

"The applicants have not carried that burden," the court said.

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