Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation. Photo: Google


The National Regeneration Movement’s (Morena) coordinator of the parliamentary process in Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies, Pablo Gómez, has assured that there will be no two-year extension of Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) President Arturo Zaldívar’s term, despite its proposal by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO).

According to Gómez, even if the extension were to be approved by AMLO and the country’s legislative branch, it would still be denied.

“This transitory article to extend the presidency of Minister Zaldívar in the Supreme Court for two additional years could not pass even if it were approved and promulgated. It is better to say this from the beginning,” said Gómez in a tweet.

For his part, Morena opponent and President of the conservative National Action Party (PAN) Marko Cortés requested Zaldívar to turn down “the poisoned apple” of the term extension without hesitation due to its legal and constitutional violations, calling the proposal “aberrant.”

Cortés noted how extending the SCJN president’s term could establish “a very dangerous precedent,” which could later see a “request, why not, that the term of office of the president be extended.”

“It is a poisoned apple for the judiciary, because what they are looking for is that the interpreters of the Constitution, those who represent the judges, the ministers of the SCJN, authorize an extension of their mandate for their president,” said Cortés.

“That is a poisoned apple, because then the other president of the federal executive power may fall into temptation, because why not also extend the mandate, if it has already been extended to the head of the judicial power, why not extend it to the head of the executive power. That is what we cannot allow,” stressed the PAN leader.

If this “legislative atrocity” were to pass through the Chamber of Deputies, where Morena holds majority, it would be completely unconstitutional, said Cortés.

Cortés’ criticisms on the potential ramifications of this proposal join a bevy of other concerns over the growing power of the Mexican president, as the country has seen López Obrador flex his expanding authority over the first two years of his term, including through militarization and controversial energy reforms, leaving many concerned that the proposed SCJN extension could eventually morph into an extension of AMLO’s own presidency.

…April 19, 2021

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