Letters to the Editor

How to depoliticize high court nominations

President Donald Trump, in a few statements made on Feb. 8, insinuated that justice in this country is politicized. It’s a plausible insinuation.

In accordance with the general doctrine about the rule of law, universally accepted in democratic countries, and based on the doctrine of separation of powers of Monstesquieu, the judicial power has to be an independent and autonomous body to avoid the politicization of justice and thus maintain the balance between the other powers of the state, guaranteeing citizens’ freedom under the protection of the rule of law.

Such independence and autonomy apparently do not conform to the reality in this country, bearing in mind that lower-level judges are elected by the people, and the others, are appointed by the president and governors — appointments that have to be confirmed by the respective senates, and have undoubted political influence.

An example of this political influence is the appointment by Trump of Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left after the death of Antonin Scalia.

According to the general opinion of lawyers and judges, Judge Gorsuch is highly qualified for the position for which he has been appointed by President Trump.

However, Democratic senators have declared they will vote against him because of his conservative philosophy, regardless of his qualifications.

To resolve what is obviously an inconsistency with the general doctrine, an ideal solution would be a constitutional amendment creating special organizations — autonomous and independent — at national and state levels.

These groups would have the responsibility of organizing an appropriate system and carry out the nominations of judges. Neither the president nor governors would have the right to veto without further confirmations by the senates.

Jaime A. Perez-Singla,


Havana Bar

Association (in exile)