Wednesday, December 7

The conservative sector of the Judiciary persists in blocking the renewal of the Constitutional

The conservative majority of the acting General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) continues to delay the renovation of the Constitutional Court, which is more than two months late. The last meeting of the negotiating commission created to address the two appointments that correspond to the governing body of the judges has ended without the members elected at the proposal of the PP having specified which is their candidate to go to the guarantee court, they inform elDiario .es institution sources. And this despite the fact that at the meeting two weeks ago they promised to make an effort to find applicants and be able to reach next week’s plenary session with two names on the table.

The progressives of the Judiciary elect Bandrés for the Constitutional and the conservatives promise to look for candidates

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In this way, the possibility that the Constitutional may be renewed this November is removed. It is the main conclusion of the meeting held this Wednesday by the interlocutors of the conservative and progressive sectors, who have to agree on which two magistrates they designate for the guarantee court. This relief accumulates more than two months of delay due to the blockade of the members elected at the proposal of the PP, who have used different excuses to prevent appointments that should have been made before September 13.

The last pretext of the conservatives is that we must wait for the decision of the Supreme Court on the appeals that a member and the general secretary of the body presented against the election of Rafael Mozo as president of the body after the resignation of Carlos Lesmes. The deliberation of the precautionary measures requested in relation to this matter is set for November 23. The members elected at the proposal of the PP argue that, if the election of Mozo were suspended, the appointments for the Constitutional that could have been made would be in question.

Sources from the progressive sector, however, believe that it is yet another “delaying excuse” and regret that it is again the conservatives who mark the times of these appointments. Until now, the blockade of the conservative sector has prevented the replacement of the four Constitutional judges whose mandate has expired since June 12 and whose replacement corresponds to the CGPJ (two) and the Government (two others).

Until now, the Executive had decided not to appoint their own until the CGPJ does so due to the legal doubts caused by a possible renewal in phases. However, in recent weeks in the Executive they have opened the door to make those appointments if the governing body of the judges continued in the blockade. The consequence of this situation is that it has been impossible to change the current conservative majority for a progressive one in the court that has yet to rule on such relevant laws as abortion, euthanasia or educational reform.

The Constitutional appointments must reconcile the support of at least 11 of the 18 current members of the plenary of the CGPJ. They need, therefore, the contest of vocals from both sectors of the organ, now made up of 10 conservatives and eight progressives. With this correlation of forces, the conservatives would only need a vote from the opposing group to carry out the appointments, which arouses certain fears in the progressive sector.

Until now, the absence of applicants to their liking has been the main stumbling block that the conservatives have used to delay the renewal. In addition, in recent days they have let it be known that they do not like the candidate chosen by the progressive sector, Supreme Court judge José Manuel Bandrés. They consider that he has a “too governmental” profile and that the other name that this sector considered —that of Pablo Lucas, also a Supreme Court magistrate— has a more “ideal” profile.

The consulted members maintain that there is a tacit agreement that each block chooses a candidate and that name is accepted by the other group without crossed vetoes. The suggestion that Bandrés might not obtain the support of the conservatives and that they would opt for Lucas worries progressives, who consider that it would be “very serious” if the other bloc did not respect their choice.

Bandrés is one of the most veteran judges in the contentious-administrative section of the Supreme Court, where he has served since 2003. After entering the judiciary in 1980, he has passed through courts in the Basque Country, Catalonia and Aragon before joining the Court Catalan Superior and finally in the Supreme. He is one of the founders of the progressive association Judges and Judges for Democracy and among other sentences for which he has been a speaker is the one that in 2016 overthrew the financing regime of the electric social bonus.

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