28/12: TSJ Preoverturns All Incoming National Assembly Acts as Unconstitutional
Landmark ruling of the Constitution's Article 3 threatens to destabilize the country still further ahead of a delicate parliamentary handover on January 5th.
[N.b., For those of you coming late to this story, please realize this was published on Dec. 28th, Holy Innocents’ Day, Latin America’s equivalent of April Fools.]
Following a hastily assembled emergency session of the Constitutional Chamber in the early hours of Monday morning, the Supreme Tribunal has responded to a recurso de interpretación (request for interpretation) filed late last night by outgoing National Assembly chair Diosdado Cabello with a sweeping ruling that predeclares unconstitutional any act approved by the incoming, MUD-controlled National Assembly.
Formally an interpretation of the Constitution’s Article 3, the landmark ruling turns on the constitution’s guarantee that the state’s ultimate end is “the construction of a just and peace-loving society” (“la construcción de una sociedad justa y amante de la paz”).
Writing on behalf of a unanimous Constitution Chamber, Chief Justice Gladys Gutiérrez ruled that the court “finds it incongruous that a hate-filled oligarchic cabal at the service of Washington could fulfill the mandate to build such a society.”
In the court’s view, Gutiérrez continued, “it would create an intolerable strain on this tribunal’s resources to expect it to rule separately on each act the oligarchic assembly perpetrates against the glorious people of Bolívar.”
Noting that achieving administrative efficiency is also a mandate the constitution imposes on the justice system, Gutiérrez concludes that it is simply more cost efficient to preoverturn any decision the new majority may choose to take between 2015 and 2020, “in the spirit of preserving jurisprudential predictability and with the supreme end of guaranteeing budgetary efficiency.”
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