Constitutional Court bill would scrap term limits, allow justices to serve until age 70

first_imgLegal expert Erwin Natosmal Oemar of the Indonesian Public Interest Lawyer Network (PILNET) said there was no urgency for the House to deliberate the bill, especially while the country scrambled to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic.Erwin further argued that the draft bill reflected a conflict of interest. “It was created only to extend the term of office for justices who will soon retire,” he told The Jakarta Post.Arsul Sani of House Commission III overseeing legal affairs said the bill was initiated by Baleg and that the commission would continue the deliberation.”Lawmakers in Commission III will discuss the bill and critique it. [The draft] still can change. We welcome public criticism,” he told the Post on Thursday.Similarly, Commission III lawmaker Taufik Basari, who is also member of Baleg, said the contents of the bill could still develop.”The current draft is still very open for further discussion. It is only a proposal,” he said.Topics : The House of Representatives is planning to revise the Constitutional Court law, seeking to scrap the ten-year term limit for justices and instead set a retirement age of 70 for all members of the nine-justice bench.According to the draft bill, a copy of which was obtained by The Jakarta Post, the revisions focus on the change of tenure for the justices as well as the eligible age for a candidate to be selected as a Constitutional Court justice.Article 23 point 1 of the draft bill stipulates that Constitutional Court justices must retire at 70 years of age. The bill scraps the existing provision in Article 22, which stipulates that justices will serve for five years and can be reappointed for only one additional five-year term. Article 4 of the draft bill extends the tenure of the Constitutional Court chief justice and deputy justice to five years from the current 2.5 years.The bill also increases the minimum age for a person to be eligible for the position of Constitutional Court justice from the existing 47 years of age to 60 as seen in Article 15 point 2 of the draft bill.House Legislation Body (Baleg) deputy chairman Willy Aditya of the NasDem Party said the bill was one of seven currently being discussed by lawmakers, which also included the omnibus bill on job creation, the indigenous peoples bill and the state civil apparatus (ASN) bill.Critics, however, argue that the bill does not touch the substance of the problems in the Constitutional Court as it focuses only on the tenure of justices.last_img read more

Political firestorm erupts in Washington after California wildfires

first_imgWASHINGTON – Raging blazes throughout California are sparking a political firestorm in Washington, where House Republicans are trying to douse a vote on children’s health insurance. Seven California GOP lawmakers are in the state today, touring wildfire damage and working to help evacuated constituents. And they are blasting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for holding a contentious vote in their absence that would expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. “The Democratic leadership is once again showing that they only care about scoring political points,” said Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands. “They are showing a blatant disregard for the people we are elected to represent and are trying to help.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Republicans made several attempts this morning to block the bill from going forward, forcing three procedural votes that would have sent lawmakers home for the week. All three attempts failed. In addition to Lewis, six other California Republicans are in their districts today, including Reps. David Dreier, R-Glendora, Elton Gallegly, R-Thousand Oaks and Ken Calvert, R-Riverside. Pelosi and other Democrat leaders argued that the absence of seven Californians will not change the outcome of the vote. They also noted that critical votes were held in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina even though several lawmakers flew home to address the disaster and were unable to participate. “We all understand how important it is for members to be home with their constituents. But that doesn’t’ mean that we don’t continue with the work of government,” Pelosi said. She contended that California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who supports expanding the children’s health insurance program, personally urged her to go forward. In a phone call about the fires, she said, Schwarzenegger asked her “How are we doing on SCHIP?” last_img read more