Litigation over the New Jersey pension fund’s purchase of $180 million in Lehman Bros. stock shortly before the company’s bankruptcy filing will stay in federal court.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused Monday to hear the state’s appeal from removal. The court based its ruling on jurisdictional grounds, rather than deciding an open question in the circuit — whether the securities law’s prohibition against removal trumps the bankruptcy code, which allows it.

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