The judge’s question at the end is a VERY bad sign for NRA’s filing. When a judge specifically asks people to address a particular question, it is the strongest possible sign that he thinks this is the key issue in front of him. What he wants debated is, given that the purpose of Chapter 11 (reorganization) bankruptcy is to keep a company from falling into Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy, does a court have jurisdiction where the sole purpose of the case is to avoid a state’s attempt to dissolve the corporation, via a dissolution that will require a lawsuit and a state court’s determination that the dissolution is in the public interest, and escaping the dissolution is the entire purpose, and not a collateral one, of the bankruptcy?
This is a very precise phrasing of NRA’s situation, in terms of dismissal for bad faith, that is ulterior motive, filing. The judge sees the issue precisely, and if you look at it with that precision, the only answer is: no, the bankruptcy court does not have jurisdiction, and must dismiss the Chapter 11 case.
That will be a disaster for NRA’s hopes. This weekend’s board meeting is just spinning the wheels, approving a plan that will never be accepted by the court because the case will already have been dismissed. That will leave NRA a New York corporation, and leave the NY Attorney General free to dissolve it.
Her dissolution suit has been strengthened by the bankruptcy court revelations. Just the lad day of testimony saw Wayne LaPierre claiming that he’d begun cleaning everything up in 2017, but forced to admit that he’d been given an incredibly lucrative “golden parachute” agreement in mid-2018 (it would have given him many millions had the board ever stopped electing him) that was signed by an outgoing president and Carolyn Meadows, now NRA president and head of the board’s Special Litigation Committee. The signing of the contract implicates NRA’s current board leadership, and also LaPierre himself, and shows his supposed 2017 reforms are. sham. He himself is free to loot despite them. On the same day those board officers signed another golden parachute for Woody Phillips, the NRA treasurer who had to “take the Fifth” dozens of times in his testimony. Others who got such agreements, LaPierre testified he had no idea of the contracts, showing that even if he were honest, in practice others are free to loot NRA at will without his being able to discover it.
The board itself is implicated: all this went on undetected on its watch, and when detected by the media the board chose to endorse the corruption; its current president even signed off on some of it! Its previous president, who tried to investigate things, the board chose to purge. The board is surely being misinformed. The attorneys at the meeting certainly won’t tell the board about the judge’s question and what it means for the case, about LaPierre’s damaging testimony, or how his claims of reform and a new direction have been destroyed in court. But the board cannot escape responsibility: its job is to be informed, the buck stops there. Pleading misinformation doesn’t hold water when board members never dared to ask questions.
The NRA will be thrown back to the NY Attorney General, who now has been handed even more ammunition, more than enough to kill the organization. no, it’s not so much a killing as an assisted suicide.
The names of those responsible will live in shame in the shooting community. Their corruption, or weakness, killed a great organization that had endured for 150 years.