PREVIOUSLY on the Obama and the rule of law:Standard & Poor’s on Tuesday denounced a $5 billion fraud lawsuit by the United States government as retaliation for its 2011 decision to strip the country of its AAA credit rating.The McGraw Hill Financial unit of S.& P. was the only major credit rating agency to remove the United States’ top rating, and the only one the Justice Department sued over claims of misleading banks and credit unions about the credibility of its ratings before the 2008 financial crisis.In a filing on Tuesday in Federal District Court in Santa Ana, Calif., S.&P. said that the lawsuit was an effort to punish it for exercising its First Amendment rights and that the suit seeks “excessive fines” in violation of the Eighth Amendment.It said the government’s “impermissibly selective, punitive and meritless” lawsuit was brought “in retaliation for defendants’ exercise of their free-speech rights with respect to the creditworthiness of the United States of America.” [Emph. added]
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