05/18/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

GM Bankruptcy: It's Up To A Judge

Any hope of a high-speed bankruptcy by General Motors faces a serious obstacle: a judge -- not the Obama administration, not G.M. management and not the company's creditors -- would reign in court.

A bankruptcy judge would be required by law to listen to unions, whose members fear for their jobs, benefits and pensions. And the judge would have to pay attention to creditors, including bondholders frustrated by how much they stand to lose if G.M. is broken up into "good" and "bad" companies as the administration is planning. Even a judge sympathetic to the administration -- and the administration would look for a sympathetic court -- might be reluctant to rubber-stamp that plan.

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