AMLO Proposes Three Women for Vacant Supreme Court Position

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On Wednesday, Nov. 15, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) sent his shortlist of potential replacements for the freshly resigned Supreme Court Justice of the Nation (SCJN) Minister Arturo Zaldívar’s newly vacant position on Mexico’s highest court.

López Obrador’s all-women shortlist is composed of María Estela Ríos, Bertha Alcalde Lujan and Lenia Batres, all of which have ties to his in-power National Regeneration Movement (Morena) – a move opposition parties have characterized as “returning to the times of the most brutal and most worrying nepotism that Mexico has ever experienced.”

Batres, the sister of the current head of the Mexico City government and Morena member Martí Batres, currently works as deputy advisor for Legislation and Regulatory Studies of the Legal Department of the Federal Executive. She also previously served under AMLO during his tenure as the head of the Mexico City government and holds a law degree from Humanitas University.

Ríos presently works as a legal advisor to the federal executive and has reportedly worked closely with López Obrador for more than two decades. She holds law degrees from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and Immanuel Kant University Center, and likewise served under AMLO as a legal advisor during his time leading the Mexican capital.

Alcalde Lujan, while claiming to belong to no political party, is the sister of current Secretary of the Interior and Morena member Luisa María Alcalde and serves as a legal advisor to the Federal Commission for Protection Against Health Risks (Cofepris). She holds law degrees from both UNAM and New York University and previously worked on Mexico’s Reform of the Criminal Justice System between 2007 and 2015. 

López Obrador’s selections will now head to the Senate Justice Commission, where they will present their case on why they should become Mexico’s newest SCJN minister. 

Following the hearings, Mexican Congress will vote on who will become Zaldívar’s replacement, though the winner will need to earn two-thirds of congress’ votes to be ratified to the court. 

If no candidate achieves two-thirds of the vote within 30 days, AMLO will send another shortlist to the senate. If the new nominees likewise fail to achieve a two-thirds vote, López Obrador will then be able to directly select the new SCJN minister himself.

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