An unprecedented decision after nine hours of intense debate. The Plenary of the Constitutional Court has agreed this Monday to urgently suspend the parliamentary processing, already in the Senate, of the two amendments by which the system of election and arrival of the two candidates to the TC appointed by the General Council of Power is modified Judicial (CGPJ), thus admitting the very precautionary measures requested by the PP in its appeal against said amendments, according to legal sources consulted by Europa Press.
In this way, the magistrates have understood that the progress of the parliamentary procedure causes damage that is difficult to repair to the rights of the ‘popular’ legislators, who invoked article 23 of the Constitution, which includes the right to political participation of citizens through their representatives. It is the first time, in its more than 40 years of history, that the Constitutional order urgently suspends a parliamentary debate in the Cortes Generales, so it is an unprecedented decision.
The guarantee court takes this step after said amendments were approved in the Congress of Deputies last Thursday within the framework of the bill to repeal the crime of sedition. Although these amendments had already passed the parliamentary process in the Lower House, there would still be the Senate, where it was expected that they would also be approved next Thursday. Now, the Secretary of Justice of the Plenary, Alfonso Pérez Camino, will have to personally deliver the decision adopted by the TC to the Upper House, according to the aforementioned sources.
More than nine hours of intense debate
The eleven magistrates have started their internal conclave at 10:00 a.m., but the relevant decisions have not arrived until 7:30 p.m., when they have agreed to admit the PP appeal; also accept the representation requested by United We Can (UP) and PSOE; and rejecting the challenges launched by the government parties against the president of the TC, Pedro González-Trevijano, and magistrate Antonio Narvaez.
The legal sources detail that the ‘popular’ appeal has been admitted by 6 votes -those of the conservative majority- against 5 -those of the progressive minority-; same result with which it has been resolved that it was not the opportune procedural moment to address the challenges formulated by the ‘purples’ and the socialists.
Podemos argued that González-Trevijano and Narváez distanced themselves considering that they have a “direct interest” in paralyzing this reform
UP argued that González-Trevijano and Narváez should step aside considering that they have a “direct interest” in paralyzing this reform because they would result in the candidates nominated by the Government – former Justice Minister Juan Carlos Campo and former Moncloa senior official Laura Díez – if the proposed modification goes ahead.
The Plenary of the TC already met urgently last Thursday, but then González-Trevijano agreed to postpone it to this Monday after the five progressive magistrates threatened to leave, if they were not given more time to study a matter of great “complexity”. ” and “relevance” that they knew just 24 hours before. If they had marched, they would have prevented the ‘quorum’ of at least 8 magistrates that are required for the Plenary to be constituted.
The underlying problem is that the Constitutional Court has been waiting since June 12 for the renewal of the four magistrates who make up the third that the Constitution mandates to replace the Government and CGPJ: González-Trevijano and Narváez, appointed in their day by the Executive of Mariano Rajoy; and Juan Antonio Xiol and Santiago Martínez-Vares, appointed at the time by the governing body of the judges.
The legal doubts about the possibility that the two Moncloa candidates could take office without waiting for the two from the CGPJ led to promoting and approving last July in Parliament an express reform of the Organic Law of the Judiciary (LOPJ) to return to the Council his power to appoint his two applicants to the court of guarantees.
However, the negotiations within the CGPJ ran aground on December 2 due to the tacit veto of the conservative bloc to the candidate of their progressive counterparts, the magistrate of the Supreme Court (TS) José Manuel Bandrés, and the latter’s refusal to return to fatten his list of applicants (which came to have nine).
Negotiations in the CGPJ
In this context, ‘morados’ and socialists introduced in the bill that eliminates the crime of sedition the two amendments that clear the way for Campo and Díez to take office as magistrates of the TC without having to wait for the two nominees by the body of government of the judges. For its part, the CGPJ plans to hold an extraordinary plenary session this Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. where, for now, the only candidates on the agenda are Supreme Court magistrates Pablo Lucas and César Tolosa.
The sources consulted by Europa Press already pointed out that, although formally Bandrés was the only formal candidate and the bloc retained several names, the best positioned to achieve the endorsement of the CGPJ group were Lucas and Tolosa.