Buenos Aires Hours | Horacio Rosatti elected new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

Horacio Rosatti will succeed Carlos Rosenkrantz as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, starting next month.

The 65-year-old had previously been named by judicial sources and press reports as Rosenkrantz’s successor, but nothing was final until Thursday’s vote, which took place around noon via video conference.

Rosatti, who will serve as chief justice for the next three years, has been appointed by the Cambiemos presidency of Mauricio Macri as his predecessor. Unlike Rosenkrantz, he has previous ties to the Kirchnerites, having served as Minister of Justice in Néstor Kirchner’s government between 2004 and 2005.

Ahead of this week’s vote, Supreme Court Judge Ricardo Lorenzetti – who led the tribunal between 2007 and 2018 – was one of the first to return to the stand, but his options have faded in recent weeks. .

Rosenkrantz has repeatedly stated that the decision rests exclusively with the five judges themselves and that they will not be pressured by outside forces.

“We are judges up to our institutional responsibilities. We will decide the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court before the end of the month and neither the media nor the politicians will influence this election,” said the outgoing Chief Justice. on TN television. news channel just before the PASO primaries.

Last May, Rosatti voted against President Alberto Fernández and in favor of the mayor of the city of Buenos Aires Horacio Rodríguez Larreta in a clash to defend classroom education at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rosatti was joined by Rosenkrantz, Lorenzetti and Juan Carlos Maqueda while Elena Highton of Nolasco abstained. Their decision was jurisdictional, recognizing that the town hall had sufficient autonomy to decide on local education, thus overturning a presidential decree.

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Rosatti is a specialist in constitutional law who prides himself on his capacity for dialogue. Among the highlights of his previous career, he was mayor of the provincial capital of Santa Fe and Minister of Justice. His life has taken him to “unexpected places,” he once said in an interview.

While his identification with Peronist doctrine sets him apart from Rosenkrantz, who will now become Deputy Chief Justice, Rosatti argues that this political context has in fact strengthened his capacity for dialogue. For him, the conversation between the three branches of government is “very important” while warning “as long as the limits are respected without interference”.

Prior to being mayor of Santa Fe (1995-1999), Rosatti was a delegate to the 1994 Constitutional Reform Assembly, as well as provincial treasury attorney.

According to his account, he entered the Supreme Court at the invitation of Macri’s vice-president, Gabriela Michetti, who allegedly urged him to be “an independent judge”, a request he claims to have honored. Macri, however, was disappointed with him, saying at one point: “So far he has always voted with a very anti-capitalist bias.”

Macri tried to send Rosenkrantz and Rosatti to the Supreme Court in 2016 by presidential decree, sparking an outcry among Peronists, then in opposition. The Cambiemos leader was eventually forced to submit their candidacies to the Senate.

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Rosatti argues that he promoted the taxation of judges upon entering the Supreme Court and also supports gender equality at all judicial levels. A shameless justicialist, he maintains that this political commitment is in fact “a plus” for the Court.

“If you ask law students or lawyers to name the most important judges in the history of the Supreme Court of the United States, they will give you four or five names who have had intense previous political experience,” he said in an interview with journalist Diego Genoud for the book El peronismo de Cristina.

Rosatti defined the Justicialist Party as having “very free” access to the structure of the party and “its leadership, its formation and the attributes which it could possess have a very spontaneous recognition”.

He has always been viewed by the media as part of the “Peronist majority” with Lorenzetti and Maqueda (the highest-ranking judge who appointed him chief justice), with Rosenkrantz and Highton de Nolasco as a minority.

The big unknown now concerns the link between the new chief justice and his deputy head.

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Estelle D. Eden

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