The blockade of the renewal of the maximum interpreter of the constitution is experienced in Madrid at three speeds. One of them is at the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), where a group of rebellious members has been blocking a key constitutional court overhaul for months. Another one in the Congress of Deputies, where the reform is underway, with which the government intends to end this paralysis. And finally, in the Constitutional Court itself, where the magistrates – several of them have expired – must decide this Thursday if, at the request of the People’s Party, they will paralyze the reform in a very preemptive way to open their own renewal. A major renovation because it will be the one that will establish a progressive majority in Domenico Scarlatti street after more than a decade of conservative majority.
The first meeting at the Constitutional Court is at ten o’clock in the morning. President Pedro González-Treviano, one of four magistrates up for renewal, called an emergency plenary session on Wednesday to consider an equally urgent appeal presented by the Popular Party. An appeal challenging the handling of a reform by which the executive intends to change the arithmetic of the majority required by the CGPJ to appoint constitutional magistrates.
The PP condemns that this reform, which changes the organic law of the judiciary, was carried out by changes in legislative processes unrelated to the blockade they themselves caused in the Council of the Judiciary and, subsequently, now also the Constitution. However, the debate will not take place on the content of the issue: the constitutional plenary session will decide whether the process should be paralyzed very preemptively, because it was done through an amendment. That is, without asking anyone for information and because the consequences of not doing so will not be corrected.
The decision will be taken by the entire plenary session, although the presentation of the case is in the hands of Enrique Arnaldo. He is one of the most recent additions to the constitutional constitution by Congress and proposed by the Popular Party, has been contested several times without success to date, and is the speaker on issues such as PP’s appeal against the abortion law. Arnaldo, before entering the Court of Guarantee, was a lawyer of the Cortes Generales for decades, and therefore knows the legislative processes, which he will have to study down to the millimeter.
At the plenary session, which will begin on Thursday at ten o’clock in the morning, there will be four magistrates whose mandate expired in June of this year. It is those who cannot be renewed due to the blockade of the conservative sector of the CGPJ, and whose exit from the constitution is aimed at promoting legal reform, which they will have to decide.
There are several options on the table. The extraordinary plenary session is held a few hours before, at three o’clock in the afternoon, the plenary session of the Congress begins, in which political parties vote on the consideration of legislative reform, which, among other things, affects the renewal of the constitution. If the TC dictates a very preemptive suspension, a congressional vote cannot take place.
This is the first option: that the Constitutional Court understands that the appeal of the PP, presented against the decision of the Commission of Justice to allow the changes to be considered, is so urgent that if the whole process is not paralyzed, there will be damage. irreversible. In this case, the vote in Congress would be compromised and any decision contrary to this suspension could be interpreted as defiance of the opinion of the Court of Guarantee.
Another option is for the Constitutional Court to reject preventive measures that are taken without asking the opinion of the party involved, but to decide to consider the PP’s complaint as a precautionary measure and therefore to require a report. That will delay the next decision by several days and will not prevent Congress from voting on the reform on Thursday and continuing to work on it. The third and last option would be for the Constitutional Court to categorically reject the PP’s complaint and to consider the case finally and without hindrance to the parliamentary discussion.
The constitution will be updated
At the bottom of the case, regardless of the specific legal debate that the magistrates have this Thursday, is the shock wave of the People’s Party blockade for the renewal of the CGPJ, which reaches the Constitutional Court. The PP-appointed conservative members of this body, whose term expired four years ago, refused to vote for candidates until Wednesday yesterday, meaning there are currently four constitutional magistrates without renewal.
Two of them correspond to the government and two to the CGPJ, but it seems clear that the constitution does not plan to give openings to two candidates for the executive branch, unless candidates for the governing body of judges are also prepared, at least for now.
The situation in the Judicial Council is far from collapsing. A recent legislative reform forced members to agree on the appointment of their two nominees in September, but it did not happen until several months later. This did not happen, as several members of the conservative sector refused to put their candidates on the table and vote until this Wednesday.
The appearance of this last modification of the necessary majority led them to demand, now urgently, a plenary vote for their two candidates: Cesar Tolo and Pablo Lucas Murillo. A proposal that practically neutralizes and vetoes the proposal of the progressive sector, Magistrate José Manuel Bandres. Intentional suggestion of failure.
Blocked progressive majority
The Council has expired for four years, the renewal of which is blocked by the PP, thus blocking the renewal of the main part of the Constitutional Court. It’s important because these four posts, which are up for renewal, are what will guarantee a progressive majority in the coming years after a decade of Conservative majorities.
The government has already appointed its own ex-minister Juan Carlos Campo and Professor Laura Dies, two with progressive profiles, while the council does not stand for its own advancement, but traditionally tends to assign a magistrate to each sector of the plenary session.
Replacing the two conservatives appointed by Mariano Rajoy’s absolute majority with two progressives would change this proportion with several key decisions: the PP’s appeal against the abortion law and the appeal against more pressing regulations such as euthanasia, the Selaa law on education and many others. others.
Source: El Diario