Thursday, June 4, 2009

Are GM's Actions Government Actions?

Does the US government's controlling equity ownership of GM grant constitutional rights to dealers and others affected by GM's decisions? Is due process, i.e. notice, hearing, right to judicial review, fairness and lack of arbitrariness, required as part of the automaker's decision-making process?

The Washington Post published a story, "Senators Blast Automakers Over Dealer Closings."

The Thursday, June 4, 2009 article states:
Empowered by the government's emerging ownership role, members of a Senate committee yesterday excoriated General Motors and Chrysler for their decisions last month to close more than 2,000 dealers.

The senators have been besieged by auto dealers who say the franchise closures were capricious or unfair.
Are the dealers entitled, under the Fifth Amendment, to due process constitutional rights before their GM dealerships are terminated?

I am sure some enterprising attorneys will litigate the dealership closings and raise constitutional issues. Will every GM decision become a government decision and raise constitutional notice and review rights?

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