The provisional president of the Senate, Claudia Ledesma, began a special session on Thursday afternoon in which the ruling party seeks to approve, without the support of the opposition, the bill to expand the number of members of the Supreme Court of Justice from the current 5 members to 15.
The session began at 2:46 p.m. with 37 senators from the ruling party and allies present in the room, while the Together for Change bench did not provide a quorum and went down to the room minutes after the ruling party obtained the necessary number to debate.
The project was originally requested by a group of Peronist governors and expanded the number of members of the Supreme Court to 25, but in the last few hours the possibility arose that the ruling party would agree to reduce the number to 15, at the request of some legislators allied with the Front of All (FdT) that refused to accompany the proposed extension.
Thanks to this change, the ruling party managed to score the accompaniment of Adolfo Rodríguez Saá and Alberto Weretilneck, two of the votes that it needed yes or yes to reach a majority.
The original initiative — of only four articles — does not contemplate the removal of the current supreme Horacio Rosatti, Juan Carlos Maqueda, Ricardo Lorenzetti and Carlos Rosenkrantz, so if the modification is approved — which has a difficult fate in the Chamber of Deputies– the Senate should agree to 11 members proposed by the Executive Branch, as established by the National Constitution.
Rejection of Together for Change
In case of obtaining half sanction, the initiative will have to continue its way in Deputies, where the PRO bloc already anticipated its opposition –in the voice of its president Cristian Ritondo– and the head of the Buenos Aires government, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, He went out to cross the Senate session through his networks. “There will be no reform of the Court and there will be no impunity. Although in the Senate they can get the numbers to expand it, as they did before with the law of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and that of the Judicial Council, once again we are going to stop them in Deputies”, he sentenced on behalf of Together for Change.
The details of the official initiative
The initiative only expands the number of courtiers but leaves, in its first article, open the debate on a future “special law” that will define “the mode of organization and operation” of the Supreme Court. The idea is that this “special law”, whose project has not yet been presented, establishes certain guidelines such as the division into rooms, integration by regions and other objectives, it was explained.
The original project, presented by the leaders of the Frente de Todos bench, José Mayans and Anabel Fernández Sagasti, had some changes, such as ensuring gender parity among the applicants to join the Court.
In this sense, a mechanism will be sought by which a four candidates are sent to the Executive Power (two men and two women) so that the President of the Nation, making use of his constitutional powers, elevates the candidates to the Senate.
The project was passed at the end of June, after seven governors from the ruling party were present in the Illia Hall of the Senate to express their support for the measure that they, along with nine other leaders, had presented to President Alberto Fernández at the beginning of May. However, since then, the Front of All has not been able to gather the necessary number of legislators to approve the law.