March 16, 2004

The money quote

From the Sala Constitucional's own jurisprudence on the relative weight of the chambers on the Supreme Tribunal, from decision 656 of the Constitutional Chamber, signed Jose Manuel Delgado Ocando (i.e. a pro-Chavez judge.) Ruling on an appeal by the opposition back then to have the Constitutional Court revive the original signature drive back in February 2003:

This chamber, on the basis of what has been argued, and given that the present motion solicits it take on two cases currently before the Electroral Chamber of this same tribunal, and given that both chambers have the same rank, being respectively, the summit of the constitutional and electoral jurisdictions, declares that the present request to accept the cases is legally non-available, and as such we declare it.

Original: Esta Sala, con base en los antes señalado, dado que en la presente solicitud se le solicita avocarse al conocimiento de dos causas que cursan ante la Sala Electoral de este mismo Tribunal Supremo de Justicia, y dado que dichas Salas cuentan con igual rango, siendo ambas, en su orden, las cúspides de la jurisdicción constitucional y electoral, declara que la presente solicitud de avocamiento es inaccedible en derecho, y así se declara.