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April 15 is the deadline for the Council of the Judiciary, the body in charge of appointing and removing judges, to recover the balance between its members and take weight away from politicians on judges and lawyers, when voting on the appointments or political trials of magistrates. This was the ruling of the Supreme Court that declared unconstitutional the law written in handwriting by Cristina Kirchner and sanctioned in 2006.

That term is sudden as established by the highest court, which warned in its pronouncement that if nothing is done by that date the Council becomes “inoperative”.

The Court indicated two paths: either Congress approves a new law give him back balance to the Council of the Judiciary between the political and technical strata or, on that date, it will return to the integration established the 1999 law: 19 members, with a greater representation of judges and academics, and chaired by the head of the Court.

At the moment, neither of the two routes seems easy to navigate, which increases the ghost of the closing of the Judicial Council, that it would cease to function until the Court’s mandate is fulfilled.

In Congress, the panorama is dark due to the difficult political situation that the Frente de Todos is going through, crossed by internal disputes that do nothing but delay even the most puerile definitions in legislative matters.

The shock wave of the fist bump that Maximo Kirchner hit the official table, by resigning from the leadership of the block of deputies, it extended beyond the debate over the settlement of the debt with the IMF.

The gesture did nothing more than stir up the ultra-Kirchnerist sectors that, from minute one, rejected the project that the Executive Power sent to the Senate last year, just a few days before the Court issued its ruling.

“She doesn’t want it”, they repeat in some government offices. They thus refer to Cristina Kirchner, who until now has not given instructions on what path to follow with the project of the Executive Power.

Ministers of the Supreme Court.  Juan Carlos Maqueda;  Carlos Rosenkrantz;  Horacio Rosatti and Ricardo Lorenzetti
Ministers of the Supreme Court. Juan Carlos Maqueda; Carlos Rosenkrantz; Horacio Rosatti and Ricardo Lorenzetti

Another problem for the ruling party is the certainty that now any initiative must have enough political consensus to become law.

Although Cristina Kirchner seems to have built a new majority in the Senate, despite having lost six seats in the December replacement, the numerical weakness of the Frente de Todos, and especially its allies, in the Deputies makes it impossible to dream of advancing with a proposal without a minimum agreement with Together for Change. And, it is known, the vice president does not want to know anything with the team that integrates Mauricio Macri.

In the opposition, too many are not compelled to deal with the issue during the extraordinary sessions in February. “We have until April to sanction it, there is time,” said a radical senator.

For now, the national table of Together for Change managed to establish a position and the opposition coalition will promote a single project, which will be presented in the coming days for discussion when the debate opens in the upper house.

The panorama is not more encouraging in the other estates that must adapt to the Court’s ruling.

The fight between the lawyers is of such magnitude that the procedure runs the risk of being locked up and prosecuted.

The official councilors want nothing to do with reforming the Council and that the President of the Court, Horace Rosatti, stay in front of the body. The opposition views this process with apathy, bearing in mind that mandates expire in november of the current directors and we must elect them all again. They don’t want to do a lot of wear and tear for a few months.

Today the Council has 13 members. To reach 19, two new lawyers, a new judge, another representative of the academic sector, a deputy and one more senator must be added. Both in the case of judges and lawyers, applicants must be women to tend to gender parity.

The judges will vote the first week of April. The lists are not yet official, but there could be unity.

To elect the lawyers, meanwhile, there will be two simultaneous elections: one in the city of Buenos Aires, organized by the Public Bar Association of the Federal Capital; and another inside, in charge of the Argentine Federation of Bar Associations (FACA). They must assemble the register, agree on the date, and that voting be enabled in the provinces.

Jorge Rizzo, that guides the internal life of the college, heralds difficulties and proposes that the election be held on April 26 (after the deadline of April 15 set by the Court), together with the election of the institution’s authorities. In the Council they replied that the date be brought forward.

FACA set the appointment for April 5. But the City Bar Association objected. The owner of the entity, Eduardo Awad, presented to the Council a request for annulment for considering it without consultation and demanded to postpone the elections for April 26.

The interdict between the FACA and the Public School is worthy of a comedy of intrigues. The Federation had called a face-to-face meeting for January 27 to unify positions. The College asked to change it to a virtual one on January 31. The FACA said that on that date they did not reach the 60 days. On the 27th the meeting was not held and on the 31st no one joined the School’s zoom. The Federation published an edict and established the date of April 5.

The Council of the Judiciary meets this week and could talk about this challenge. It is likely that they will reject the claim of the City College, which is willing to prosecute the case before the federal judge with Buenos Aires electoral jurisdiction, Maria Servini. Once again, he will become the arbiter of a political problem.

A similar tug of war is carried out by the academics of the National Interuniversity Council (CIN), that they must elect a representative of the rectors.

Added to these disagreements are the policies on the two new representatives that must each be elected by the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.

The 1999 law establishes that it is up to choose two legislators of the bloc with the greatest legislative representation, one for the first minority and another for the second minority.

With this scheme, in Deputies there would be two from the Front of All and one from Together for Change. The debate is about who will represent the second minority. If the pieces of exlavagnismo or the libertarians. There are interpretations for all tastes. In the ruling party they have already warned that they will obstruct any attempt to get the Liberals to enter the body.

In the opposition, meanwhile, they anticipate difficulties in the Senate. They hope to know what will be the maneuver with which Cristina Kirchner will try to keep that extra seat in the Council of the Judiciary.

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