He constitutional Court will maintain its current conservative majority until at least 2022. It will be then when the Government will have to appoint two judges directly and will have in its power to alter the balance within the court without ties. That is the closest horizon of change considering that PP and PSOE had already agreed respect the composition of seven conservatives versus five progressives in the renewal of Justice, which includes the General Council of the Judiciary.
Sources familiar with the negotiations suggest that both the PP and the PSOE feel comfortable with this scenario. The popular would be content to maintain the conservative majority for two more years despite their parliamentary weakness. Meanwhile, the PSOE would await its moment, aware that the Constitutional Court is not expected to make any major decision in the short medium term.
The twelve judges who make up the TC are not all renewed at the same time, but rather in blocks of four magistrates with a separation of three years each. At least that is what the law dictates, but the lack of agreement between the two main parties has meant that it is not always enforced. This is the case of the block of four judges appointed at the proposal of Congress, who were to have been renewed in November.
That is one of the points that was on the table of the discreet negotiations in charge of the Minister of Justice, Juan Carlos Campo, and the head of the legal area of the PP, Enrique López. Sources familiar with the conversations inform Vozpópuli that the Socialists had agreed to distribute two judges for each block so that everything would remain the same. The initial intention was apply a 3-1 cast in favor of progressives to balance the scale.
To carry it out they need the support of three fifths of Congress, that is, 210 deputies. PP and PSOE add 208 so they would need two more seats. The parliamentary exporter of the PP Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo claimed that one of the reasons for his departure was your opposition to this renewal agreed by Justice, which has had the impulse of the leader of his party, Pablo Casado.
The agreement was already in an advanced stage as reported by legal sources to this newspaper. The Council of the Judicial Power itself decided at the end of July to postpone the appointment of five positions of judges – three of them for the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court – before the imminence of an agreement. But now the highest governing body of the judges does not rule out retaking these appointments if the agreement does not materialize. “Those places have to be covered”, indicate from the Council.
After his dismissal, he defended before the media the need for a “strong and independent” Justice as the “last containment dam” in front of the Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, and separatism. The Constitutional Court will have to resolve in the coming years major appeals such as the judgment of the process or the application of the State of alarm during the pandemic. In addition, the renewal of the CGPJ includes electing a president who at the same time presides over the Supreme Court.
Both Campos and López, the main negotiators, have listened to Álvarez de Toledo’s words since their vacation. In the calendar The opening of the judicial year is set on September 7, but in the high judicial spheres they do not believe that there will be time to reach that date with the renewed organs.
Renovation linked to that of the CGPJ
Another source consulted points out that the renewal of the Constitutional Court is linked to that of the CGPJ because some of the members of the Council could occupy one of the four new seats of the TC. Among the names that sound the loudest is that of Carlos Lesmes, current president. “If there are not 20 judges moving these weeks in the Supreme Court there are none,” says another judge who appears in the pools. One of those four places to be renewed is that of Judge Fernando Valdés, chosen at the proposal of the PSOE. Your exit could be precipitated after your arrest for a crime of gender violence.
In July 2022, the two judges elected in their day by the Government of Mariano Rajoy will have completed their nine-year mandate. Is about Antonio Narváez and Pedro González Trevijano. Then it will be the turn of the government that is in power at that time. If Pedro Sánchez continues, the Socialists will have the opportunity to reverse the game. It would become seven progressives and five conservatives with the position of president at stake. He is currently González Rivas, one of the four outgoing.
In that game emerges with force Candido Conde Pumpido, on his day the state attorney general and confidant of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. All the sources consulted assume that he will choose to preside over the Constitutional Court.