The Supreme Court has certified this week the most notorious failure of the judicial duo formed by the Popular Party and Vox. The judges have published the sentences in which their resources are inadmissible against the appointment of Dolores Delgado as State Attorney General after being a deputy and minister of the Pedro Sánchez Government. Rulings that not only deny that both parties were entitled to appeal but also reproach the custom of both political parties of trying to take their opposition work to court.
The judges of the Supreme Court launch a very clear reproach to the formations of Pablo Casado and Santiago Abascal, who in the last two years have presented a dozen resources against decisions of the central executive that have been shipwrecked in the third room. They cannot try to be a “popular action of a political nature” even if they are representatives of the citizens. They do not have a flat fee “to challenge any act of a political nature, impact or repercussion” with which they disagree. Only those that affect them as parties.
The reprimand of the Supreme is forceful. “Neither this jurisdiction nor this room are the appropriate place to settle controversies raised in the defense of interests of a political nature.” For that, remember, there is the Congress and the Senate where both parties are in the minority.
A message from the majority of the section – two magistrates opted to enter to study the fund of the appeal – that collides with judicial strategy that both parties, but especially Vox, have deployed in recent years. Wherever the Supreme Court calls for opposition in Congress and the Senate, the ultra-rightist formation has bombarded the third chamber of the Supreme Court with appeals that have not even been admitted for processing and that usually translate into convictions in costs that, in the case of Santiago Abascal’s training, exceed 16,000 euros to date.
The Supreme Court issues a warning to boaters and makes it clear that this cannot catch anyone by surprise. It affirms in both sentences: “Our jurisprudence is overwhelming in declaring that the active legitimacy of the political parties does not concur, in general, to challenge any action of the different Public Administrations, and of the corresponding Governments”. And they go further: they make a list of 24 cases in which they have already told different political parties that they cannot resort to a kind of sprinkler irrigation.
The list begins in April 2004 when the Supreme Court rejected the legitimation of United Left to appeal the agreement of the Council of Ministers of José María Aznar that estimated the contingent of temporary workers at 21,195 foreign workers for 2002. The ultra-Family and Life party continues to oppose the IRPF reform that in 2003 introduced the deduction for maternity, with the independentistas of Aralar appealing the statutes of the Caja de Ahorros de Navarra and a party called “Sovereignty” that does not appear in the registry and that challenged also no luck the appointment of Carlos Lesmes as president of the General Council of the Judiciary in 2013.
The list made by the Supreme Court of 24 cases reveals how far-rightists have been at the top of the ranking of inadmissible resources in less than a year and a half. Between July 2020 and November 2021, the judges of the third chamber have denied the active legitimation of Vox up to eight times with their corresponding sentences on costs. This places Santiago Abascal’s party ahead of Izquierda Unida (6) that started its account in 2004, the Popular Party (4), UPyD (3) and the PSOE (1) on the list drawn up by the judges.
Between the Popular Party and Vox, therefore, there are up to 12 unsuccessful appeals against actions of the Pedro Sánchez government and even the regional executive of Isabel Díaz Ayuso since 2019. Some, such as the latter against the appointment of the attorney general, are shared failures, as was the double inadmissibility of his appeals against the inclusion of Pablo Iglesias in the Delegate Commission in charge of the National Intelligence Center.
In the payroll of the PP that the Supreme Court glosses is the appeal against the appointment of the president of the Nuclear Safety Council in 2019 and five years before the reform of the Statute of Andalusia. In Vox’s are the failed appeals against the same appointment by Pablo Iglesias, the procedure against misinformation of the National Security Council, the appointment of the president and a counselor of the CNMC, anti-COVID measures of the Community of Madrid and again the composition of Government Delegated Commissions.
In all these cases, the Supreme Court orders and judgments have been accompanied by cost sentences and arguments that explain the limitations of the parties when it comes to becoming judicial challengers of the decisions of an administration or a government. In May 2021, for example, the Supreme Court reproached Vox for not having explained “what legitimate interest they have” to appeal what they called the ‘Ministry of Truth‘. Even his appeal for reconsideration was rejected and the judges said that following the criteria of Abascal’s party “would lead to the recognition of a general legitimacy for them, since there would not really be anything that would be left out of the goals that the members of the General Courts should pursue.”
A similar response was received by the Popular Party in its unsuccessful appeal against the inclusion of Pablo Iglesias in the Delegate Commission in charge of the National Intelligence Center. On that occasion, the Supreme Court replied to the PP that its capacity as representative of the citizenry “is not sufficient to confer legitimacy on it to challenge any provision or administrative act.”
The Supreme Court was especially forceful on this point by assuring that giving carte blanche to political parties to “challenge any action by the Government and the Administration” would be as much as “recognizing them a kind of covert popular action, which is not attributed by our legal system. “. A year earlier, in November 2019, the PP also failed in its attempt to challenge appointments to the Nuclear Safety Council. The Supreme Court then assured that “either in the form of a parliamentary group, or in the form of a group of deputies from the same parliamentary group, what determines its lack of legitimacy is the absence of that legitimizing title.”
The judgments that have rejected the appeals of both parties contain arguments, both in the resolutions and in the individual votes, dropping that another type of appeal could have been admitted for processing: the one that had been presented, for example, by an association of prosecutors. or even judges. In the case of Eligio Hernández, whose appointment as attorney general was annulled by the Supreme in 1994 for not having worked for 15 years as a lawyer, the judges declared the active legitimacy of the associations that appealed.
In this sense, the private vote of the magistrate José Luis Requero is especially forceful, who understands that Vox and PP were entitled to appeal but also understands that it would have been preferable for the prosecutors’ associations to have taken the initiative. His particular vote says: “I do not hide the fact that it would have been desirable that this initiative had not been assumed by a political party (…) it would have been desirable, for example, that the step had been taken by the prosecutors associations if so much contrary in that professional field – judging by the press – this appointment, or those of judges, as it happened in 1992. But those had to be other times “.
A similar debate will soon be raised in another section of the same Supreme Court when they study the numerous appeals filed against partial pardons granted to procés leaders convicted of sedition and embezzlement. Vox and representatives of Ciudadanos, among many others, have appealed the grace measure. To date, the Supreme Court has rejected that political parties can appeal pardons, for example, when they rejected an appeal by IU deputies against the pardon of banker Alfredo Sáenz, but it has accepted that Ecologists in Action resort to pardons for those convicted of environmental crimes . In this case, in addition, Vox was a popular accusation in the trial of the procés although the second chamber rejected that it could report on the matter.
The failures of Vox and PP in the Supreme Court run parallel to the successes of the ultra-rightist formation in the Constitutional Court. His appeals have led to sentences in which a divided court has declared unconstitutional the first confinement, the second state of alarm and the suspension of deadlines in Congress during the worst of the first wave of the pandemic.