- The pretense that this whole fracas is about the Constitutional Chamber’s decision to change an article of the Income Tax Law is just transparently bogus – too silly for words, really. The Court has made decisions far iffier than that without any kind of reaction from the Assembly. Whatever this is about, this is not about what they’re saying it’s about.
- From day one, Chávez’s overriding goal has been to perpetuate his hold on power. At this point, the only state institution that could foil that plan is the Supreme Tribunal’s Constitutional Chamber. Based on artices 342 and 347 of the constitution, it could rule that indefinite re-election would fundamentally alter our constitutional architecture, and only a Constituent Assembly has the power to do that.
- The government thinks Cabrera and his cohort may be willing to rule along those lines.
If this interpretation is right, what we’re seeing is a sort of preemptive purge, an attempt to get rid of judges whose loyalty is just that little bit short of totally assured ahead of a possible court challenge against the plan to put indefinite re-election up to a referendum.
Is this just speculation? You betcha! Is there a more sensible explanation out there? I haven’t seen one.