The resignation of Arturo Zaldívar as a member of the SCJN has rightly unleashed many criticisms of his role as minister in this six-year term. Although there is recognition of his professional quality, his time as President of the Jurisdictional Body left a terrible example by becoming an instrument of López Obrador and subordinating the Judicial Branch to the Executive Branch. To be precise we can list some examples:
With the support of López, he tried to extend his period as President of the SCJN. To do this, Morena legislators promoted an anti-constitutional change, where Zaldívar, the main beneficiary, maintained a complicit silence. After the controversy generated by the opposition in the Court, the Minister saw that his claim would have no possibility of passing and he advanced his rejection of the extension of his administration a few days before the Plenary Session invalidated the measure for being contrary to the Constitution.
His “legal judgment” was volatile and without any conviction. While in the Peña government he argued that the SCJN should contribute to the economic growth of the country, upon AMLO’s arrival to the presidency his position changed radically and stated that “the Court should give a clear institutional response to the claims expressed through the ballot boxes”, showing their dedication to the new government only to satisfy their interests, forgetting to protect the autonomy of the Judiciary.
Like a fine electoral raccoon, he counted 7 votes in favor of rejecting the changes to the Electrical Industry Law instead of 8. With this decision the constitutional invalidity of the Reform could not be declared. Thus, López was granted the possibility of the CFE having preference in hiring over individuals regardless of the cost to consumers.
He was servile to Obrador when the SCJN reviewed whether it was constitutional for the trial of former presidents to be submitted to Popular Consultation. Legally, if there was a crime committed by them or any public servant, it was not necessary to put it to a vote, on the contrary, it was the obligation of the State to pursue and subdue the offenders. In the discussion, Zaldívar led the vote in favor of allowing the Consultation to take place, which was as soulless as it was costly and served no purpose.
If all the previous evidence were not enough to demonstrate the dedication and servility of Arturo Zaldívar, last week he made it clear that he is another employee of the President, by presenting his resignation at the worst moment in the relationship between the Executive and the Judiciary. for the elimination of the trusts that the Court created to cover benefits to its workers. He shows that he never had any interest in strengthening the Judiciary and that he used it to satisfy his power ambitions.
He resigns when he only has one year left to complete his term, but allows López to appoint one more minister during his six-year term, when normally there are 3 per six-year term and AMLO has appointed 4. Let us remember that the staggered appointments were designed to prevent any president or former president had undue influence on the SCJN. With his resignation, Arturo Zaldívar is giving Obrador one more appointment that will last 15 years.
The President wants, at all costs, to subordinate the Judiciary to reign at ease, without legal counterweights, which is why he has tried everything to destroy it. He called his attempts Plan A, when he tried to modify the Constitution; Plan B, trying to change the Secondary Law, a circumstance that was blocked by social protests, the opposition parties in the chambers and the ministers themselves. Now Plan C is revealed, which consists of achieving an absolute majority in Congress in the 2024 Federal Election.
In this way, Morena could promote and approve constitutional reforms for the popular election of the Court Ministers, who win thanks to the political-electoral support of the government and arrive with their hands tied and full of political debts. In addition to politicizing justice and taking it to the realm of demagoguery, we would see candidates for ministers offering in their campaigns to interpret the law to the voters’ taste, offering amnesties for crimes or similar absurdities. That is, creating judges who, instead of acting with the discretion that their function deserves, become ambitious people with superficial and banal recognition.
Finally, Zaldívar’s resignation is a joke, since it can only be presented for serious reasons, a circumstance that is not established in his case. What he argues is that his cycle was closed and he no longer had space to contribute to the transformation of the country. Immediately afterwards, demonstrating a prior agreement, like an orthopteran insect he jumps into Sheinbaum’s arms and announces that he is joining his team.
He who could have been a good Judge due to his talents will go down in history as a surrenderer and servile to the government, without love for the Judiciary, an ambitious being with a reputation for tiktokervulgar, pretentious and the prime minister chapulín.
President of the Mexican Academy of Education.