Category Archives: Supreme Court

Supreme Court Minister Gudiño Pelayo dies; was swing vote

Supreme Court minister José de Jesús Gudiño Pelayo, 67, died of a heart attack while on vacation in England. His replacement could alter the balance on the 11-member Court; he was considered a swing vote between the more liberal and more conservative wings of the Court. He had also emerged, in recent years, as a reliable defender of individual rights against the State. He supported the decriminalization of abortion in the Federal District and the rights of those imprisoned in the Acteal and Atenco massacres, among others.  The Senate elects Court ministers from a list of candidates submitted by the President. His replacement could also affect the election next January of a new President of the Court, when the Ministers choose one of their own to head the Court. (Reforma 9/20, Universal 9/20)

Supreme Court exonerates top officials in ABC fire

The Supreme Court voted not to name top officials as responsible parties in their investigation of grave violations of human rights in the ABC day care center fire in Hermosillo, Sonora last year.  The 14 individuals who had been named in the original draft prepared by Supreme Court minister Arturo Zaldívar included Juan Molinar Horcasitas, Secretary of Communications and Transportation (and then head of the Social Security Institute, IMSS), Daniel Karam, current head of the IMSS, then-governor of Sonora Eduardo Bours, and then-mayor of Hermosillo, Ernesto Gándara. The result avoids the potential political complications for the Government of having two cabinet current members cited by the Court. (Universal 6/17)

Supreme Court fully backs IETU tax law

The Supreme Court (SCJN) rejected all constitutional arguments against the Single Rate Corporate Tax, or IETU, which went into effect at the beginning of 2008 as part of the 2007 fiscal reform package. Some 40,000 lawsuits had been brought against the IETU, which operates as a kind of alternative minimum tax for corporations and professionals.  After six sessions devoted to the IETU, the Ministers said in a press release summarizing their decisions that the tax met the constitutional principles of “legality, equity, and proportionality.” Undersecretary of Finance for Revenue José Antonio Meade has said that a reversal of the tax would cost the government about Ps. 90 billion in revenues per year. (Universal 2/9, Reforma 2/9, SCJN 2/9)