The Spanish government plans to introduce to Congress, through the PSOE and Unidas Podemos parliamentary groups, a new bill to renew the Constitutional Court. This is how the executive seeks to counterattack after the challenge mounted this Monday by Spain's court of guarantees against the Pedro Sánchez government, when it decided to accept the interim injunction called for by the PP and stop the processing of the legislative amendments. As ElNacional.cat has confirmed with Socialist party sources, the intention is to present this bill in the coming days, this very week. It will be in the form of a bill and will contain the amendments that the Constitutional Court rejected with the help of the PP's appeal.
The same sources state that there has been a "regrouping" of progressive forces in the Congress of Deputies since the Constitutional Court took its action against the parliamentary autonomy of the Spanish houses of parliament. This is why the PSOE and Unidas Podemos are clear that the text will be successful. It is not, however, known at present which party will end up signing the text that is presented to the chamber, or if they will both do so together.
What are these amendments that the Constitutional Court overturned and that the Spanish government now wants to resurrect through a proposed law? One that changes the requirement for a three-fifths majority which the General Council for the Judiciary (CGPJ) must currently achieve in the election of the two Constitutional judges it must choose every three years. In the new system to be introduced, those appointed will simply be the two judges who get the most votes. The other amendment to be revived in the new bill would allow either the Spanish government or the General Council of the Judiciary to make their own appointments even if the other party does not do so within the set deadlines. In other words, the objective is to change the law so that the Constitutional Court can be renewed come hell or high water, and this Monday the conservative judges on the court came out in their own defence and blocked this reform of the Spanish judicial regulations.
In addition, the conservative majority of the Constitutional Court made this decision with four of its judges having expired mandates. But two of these - Pedro González-Trevijano and Antonio Narváez - were directly affected by the issue they were deliberating on. Why? Because if the text put forward by the PSOE and Unidas Podemos had succeeded, they would have been relieved of their duties. It is for this reason that the two Spanish government partners challenged the pair of judges, but the conservative majority rejected these challenges.
A first consequence of this entire process has been, this Tuesday, the action taken by the Senate's pocedural Bureau and its justice committee to comply with the constitutional judges' pronouncement and strike out the two amendments from the text that will be considered, and almost certainly approved, on Thursday in the upper house. Thus, the Senate will not be able to vote on the reform of the judiciary, but it will be able to vote on the repeal of the crime of sedition and the reform of the crime of misuse of funds, as well as an amendment intended to combat the penalty reductions which some convicted sex offenders have been receiving as an unintended consequence of Spain's new 'only yes means yes' law.