With no time to celebrate its first victory in the Constitutional Court, Vox is about to reap the second great censorship of the management of the pandemic by the Government of Pedro Sánchez. The appeal of unconstitutionality, presented by the far-right formation against the extension of the state of alarm that Congress approved on October 29, 2020, is about to be imposed, pending the bitter debate that is announced for after the summer.
Analysis – The keys to the Constitutional ruling on the state of alarm, by Ignacio Escolar
The rapporteur for the new sentence is Antonio Narváez, who has practically completed a proposal of unconstitutionality, whose vote is scheduled for next September 14. Narváez will thus join the resolution signed by his colleague Pedro González Trevijano declaring that the confinement had been ordered without the law. Both magistrates share a particular characteristic within the court: they entered it at the proposal of the Government of Mariano Rajoy, in the relief shift that does not require the opinion of any other party or the General Council of the Judiciary. Now, his most recent jobs are filling the box where the attorneys working for Santiago Abascal receive notifications.
Narváez bases his argument, according to court sources told elDiario.es, on a trial on the extension applied to that extension: six months. Too long a period, in the opinion of the rapporteur. These are new arguments that have nothing to do with those of the first ruling of unconstitutionality, the result of which was announced last week and which only discussed the confinement of the population and criticized that the Government had opted for the state of alarm against to the state of exception, as a tool to control the runaway advance of the virus. That was a sentence with devastating political results but that, in its skeleton, was supported by a technical loophole.
Now, a new path is being opened that interprets that Pedro Sánchez and the Congress that endorsed the measure exceeded with a six-month extension, similar to those that were being imposed in other European countries. Narváez’s presentation emphasizes the lack of parliamentary control that, he points out, accompanied that extension and discusses the mechanism that left the execution of the measures in the hands of the presidents of the autonomous communities. If the proposal is successful, the entire COVID control architecture imposed at the end of last year will be called into question and the so-called “co-governance” into question.
The Constitution empowers the Government to decree a state of alarm for a period of 15 days. Congress comes into play when an extension is proposed, the time limit and arguments that support it must be put to a vote. There are no limits to this extension and even less so if the parliamentary majority supports it with their votes. What Narváez now intends, in response to Vox’s claim, is an interpreted rewriting of the Magna Carta to conclude with the second great blow to the action of Sánchez’s team during the pandemic.
The only precedent situation that led to the application of the pre-COVID state of alarm occurred in 2010. The Government then activated the mechanism to control the ongoing crisis with the air traffic control sector. While the military personnel took control of the day-to-day operations of the civilian airports, the Government obtained an endorsement from Congress to maintain the measure for a month. Nobody said anything about it.
The new sentence on the state of alarm adds a new chapter of maximum censorship of the Constitutional law against the decisions of the executive to control the virus. As in the previous time, Vox plays the role of instigator and the magistrates that Rajoy named in his day, that of executors. If in July it was Trevijano, now it is Narváez’s turn.