The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has begun the renewal process for the first of three posts that will be available in the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) during his six-year term. The morning of this Thursday, the president announced that he will send to the Senate his shortlist to fill the vacancy left by José Ramón Cossío and the output of the constitutional court on the 30th of November. The candidates are Loretta Ortiz, who helped the leader of the Movement of Regeneration Nacional (Morena) to organize forums of pacification during the transition; the magistrate Celia Maya Garcia, who was a candidate of Brown to the Senate, and the doctor in Law, Juan Luis González Alcántara Carrancá.


The judicial power, in foot of war with López Obrador A surge of officials adds to the criticism for the cuts

The shortlist is not liked to the experts for their bias and lack of autonomy with respect to the executive power. “I don’t think that Loretta Ortiz has the credentials to be a minister of the Court. Celia Maya has spent several years in the judiciary, but it is a clear militant of Morena. It would be very strange in another country that someone who has been nominated to a political post to jump immediately to a constitutional court,” said Saul Lopez Noriega, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económica (CIDE) and an expert in judicial subjects. The academic believes that González Alcántara is the bet of the executive of Moray to the Court, which will elect a new president in January 2019.

Those criticisms are similar to those that have made the three-member international panel of experts for the renewal of the tribunal, which suggest good practices to the defense of the autonomy of the courts. “Mexico lost the opportunity to make a short list to pick a process of deliberation and participation of the civil society… democracy is not strengthened if in the Court there is a person who is a friend of the president, or ally of the parties. We must strengthen the system of checks and balances,” said Catalina Botero, a member of the panel, and exrelatora of the inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

Loretta Ortiz is exdiputada of the Labour Party (PT), one of the parties that formed the alliance, Together we shall make history that led López Obrador to power in last July. She is a graduate of the prestigious Escuela Libre de Derecho and has post-graduate studies, in addition to a career in the academy. “Meets the requirements”, said López Obrador’s this morning. However, it is also the wife of José Agustín Ortiz Pinchetti, one of those responsible for the drafting of the Constitution moral of the president of Mexico, one of the projects that have made more than one raise the eyebrows.

warning Cossío

José Ramón Cossío warned during his farewell speech from the threats that hang today on the Supreme Court. “Constitutional justice can die, as dies the democracy, when we are not able to generate all the elements to reinforce them,” said the former minister on Thursday, 29 November, at the conclusion of his 15-year tenure.

In his farewell, Cossío said that the crisis of the democracy that lives globally has also affected the image of the constitutional ilbet justice. “This seems to me the ball… democracy, on the authority of the State organs, is assuming that can be done so that you come in wins because in the end it has a legitimate Government and majority. The central function of constitutional justice is to retain those attempts,” said the attorney, who considers that he has been reborn with force the temptation of some powers to take over this kind of justice.

Celia Maya is a judge since 1979. He has made his career in the Superior Court of Justice of Querétaro, an entity in the center of the country. In march of this year applied for a license as a magistrate of the local court to become a candidate of Brown to the Senate, a move that is identified from several years ago. In the July elections his formula came in second place, behind the PAN-PRD-MC, so that was out of the camera high.

The name of González Alcántara Carrancá is also not free of the macula. The lawyer, a fellow of the Fulbright and specialized in civil Law and family, was president of the high Court of Justice in the Federal District between 2000 and 2003, years in which López Obrador was head of Government of the mexican capital. The attorney is linked to a scandal of influence peddling because it would have operated for the benefit of a former minister of the supreme court, Genaro Góngora Pimentel, in a trial where the judge constitutional was trying to lower the spousal support in a custody case against a former spouse.

“it has Not been clear her role in that case”, said López Noriega. “If it were true, that would disqualify him automatically,” he adds. It will be the responsibility of the senators to contrast the profiles of the three candidates in two appearances. Brown does not have the qualified majority of two-thirds, in-camera, so that the future minister or minister will need support from opposition parties to get the constitutional court. Another problem of Alcántara Carrancá is your age. She’s 69 years old and aspires to a charge of 15 years.

Botero considered that the legislature should analyze thoroughly the qualifications of the applicants to find a profile that meets three characteristics: morally irreproachable, technically suitable and duty of ingratitude. “A judge must be ungrateful to those who posit it or choose it. The loyalty is with the Constitution,” considered the dean of the faculty of Law of the University of Los Andes, in Bogotá.

Tension with the judiciary

The relief of the Supreme court, which will continue to be one in February 2019 and the other in December of 2021, is given in the middle of the pulse of the executive of the Brunette with the judiciary by the president’s proposal to reduce the salaries of senior public officials. Hundreds of judges and magistrates have been covered to avoid having their income cut starting in January. The ministers of the court and the directors of the judiciary are within the bureaucrats best paid in the country with monthly wages exceeding $ 17,000.

Lopez Noriega considers that the proposal of López Obrador of this morning could be key in the relay of the dome of the judiciary. In January we will be voting for a new president of the Court. It is expected that the choice will face career judges with ministers outside. “I don’t understand yet what kind of president of the Court wants to López Obrador: one that operates the low wages, which will be complicated because the minister chosen will need help from the foundation to promote changes or unot that it is a catalyst for the clashes between the president and the interests of the judicial employees”. One of the first tasks of the future minister will tip the balance in a struggle that has the judiciary as a territory of combat.