La Jornada – TEPJF complaint against judge who appointed magistrates on hold

La Jornada – TEPJF complaint against judge who appointed magistrates on hold
La Jornada – TEPJF complaint against judge who appointed magistrates on hold

Mexico City. The Electoral Tribunal of the Judicial Branch of the Federation (TEPJF) has not yet filed a criminal complaint against the judge who ordered it to appoint the two vacant magistrates of the Plenary of this highest instance, and has not defined who it will call to form a quorum in the session to qualify the presidential election.

At the same time, Judge Reyes Rodríguez Mondragón clarified that both he and Janine Otálora voted in favor of rejecting the decision of the Ninth District Judge in Administrative Matters of Mexico City, Rodrigo de la Peza López Figueroa, and even taking the matter to the Judicial Council, but not going through criminal proceedings because that would mean “threatening” judicial independence.

“I voted against (the criminal complaint) because one of the criteria issued by international bodies is that judges must have guarantees in the conditions of their function to carry out their work independently,” said Judge Reyes Rodríguez.

“When one resorts to criminal charges, without having followed a process that concludes with some determination that does motivate a criminal charge, it has an effect of inhibiting that independence, of intimidating judicial independence,” he added.

He indicated that for the Plenary of the Superior Court it is perfectly clear that the definition of the magistrates of the TEPJF, in the event of a definitive absence, is the responsibility of the Electoral Tribunal, so the judge should have recused himself from the jurisdiction and that is why his precautionary measure is not being processed.

“And this difference of opinion could lead to some consequences. That is why I voted in favor of filing the corresponding complaint before the Judicial Council, a pertinent tool at this time,” he commented in an interview at the end of the plenary session of the Superior Court, held on Wednesday.

Regarding the judge’s position, Rodríguez responded that there is a thesis of the Supreme Court of Justice that establishes that the appointment of electoral authorities is exclusively the responsibility of this matter, so that the protection is not admissible.

In the case of the magistrates of the Superior Chamber of the TEPJF, their appointment corresponds to the Senate of the Republic, from a list of three candidates presented by the Supreme Court.

When this does not occur, it is up to the magistrates of this same Chamber to call the magistrate with the most seniority to join, since the minimum quorum for the presidential qualification session is six and currently there are only five magistrates.

So far, the point has not yet been formally discussed by the members of the plenary session.

“The presiding judge is the one who has to present a draft agreement as the law states, article 167 of the Organic Law (of the Judicial Branch of the Federation) establishes an analogous procedure to fill permanent vacancies, which is not the case of permanent absences due to the conclusion of the period of two magistrates that took place last October,” he said.

He recalled that in all the chambers of the TEPJF there are magistrates in office, the same occurs in all state courts, and the Superior Chamber should follow that figure, but the only matter for which that quorum (of six magistrates) is required is the qualification of the presidential election, as an urgent case.

-Would the sixth magistrate’s decision then be made at the end of August?

-I can’t make predictions; even the weather ones turn out wrong.

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