Only one week until January 2, the plenary session of the Nation’s Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) meet to determine the new presidency of one of the candidates for the position, Minister Jasmine Esquivelfaces Accusation of plagiarism in a bachelor’s thesis This not only gets in the way, but also opens up two opposite scenarios: confrontation Impeachment lawsuits Or people’s pressure is growing To demand her resignation from the highest court “For serious reasons.”
The accusations against Esquivel began last Wednesday, when writer Guillermo Sheridan published an article on the site. Latin in which It shows similarities between Esquivel’s thesis and the paper presented a year earlier by a law student. This was announced by FES Aragón of UNAM – formerly ENEP, where Esquivel studied – He will conduct a detailed review of the caseWhile the General Directorate of Libraries in UNAM reported on Friday night that it had found “High level of matches” between the two documents.
Esquivel denies plagiarism and President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador supported it on Friday morning when he downplayed the situation at his daily news conference. He said that even if Esquivel was wrong, was “as a student”He accused Sheridan and other intellectuals of doing more “harm” to the country.
political trial theatre
As the minister seeks to defend herself with letters from her professors — such as Martha Rodriguez-Ortiz, her thesis director — the Constitution contemplates a mechanism by which a sanction can be sought against her.
According to Magna Carta, Esquivel, or any other public official He may face accountability If it is verified that they have committed, in the exercise of their functions, “acts or omissions prejudicial to essential public interests or to their rightful office”. This possibility is stipulated in Article 110, which provide as penalties dismissal and disqualification for holding public office.
The request for impeachment is being filed with Congress, but according to the attorney Louis Tapiafor this path to proceed “first, FES Aragón will have to declare, that is, the authority of the university will have to decide that there is indeed plagiarism and determine the result, and accordingly the congress can declare”.
He is also a lawyer Francisco Bourgeois He agreed that there was a formal way to request a political trial for the minister, though it must first be ascertained that she had committed plagiarism.
“Number one: We have to start from the fact that we are facing a situation that is completely unprecedented in the history of our country. “I don’t remember that a situation like this arose at the highest level in the administration of justice, as it is the case of a minister or a minister in the Supreme Court,” he added.
He added, “But I see the matter as very complicated, because in order for the impeachment procedure to proceed, it must be officially proven that this person, Yasmin Esquivel, is indeed involved in plagiarism.”
In the event of an impeachment motion, both Houses would have to step in and approve the process by a majority. In such a scenario, it is possible that any final sanction against Esquivel could be stopped by the Morena legislators, President Lopez Obrador’s partyWho promoted access to the office of the current minister.
.lopezobrador_ He downplays the accusation of plagiarism against Minister Jasmine Esquivel’s dissertation: “Any mistake the minister made while a student is far less than the damage that Krause and the writer Guillermo Sheridan did to Mexico.” pic.twitter.com/3OBpu6BQRm
– the political animal (Pajaropolitico) December 23, 2022
Resignation scenario “for serious reasons”
Another scenario is that the minister herself is facing criticism and social pressure He will resign. Article 98 of the constitution states that the resignations of court ministers “will not take place except for serious reasons.”
Tapia said in this regard that this option would only be effective if the UN mission determined that plagiarism did exist, and since then, Esquivel “no longer satisfies, at least, one constitutional requirement to be a minister.”
Article 95, Section III, of the Constitution states that ministers must have a law degree with at least 10 years of seniority at the time of their appointment.
The closest precedent was the resignation of a minister in October 2019. When Eduardo Medina Moura submitted his resignation to the highest court. Although he did not disclose the reasons, his resignation took place in the midst of criminal investigations over possible irregularities in his and his family’s assets.
Bourgeois considered the concept of “serious causes” to be too broad and subjective.
The lawyer said, “Since talking about a ‘serious case’ is very flexible, she can undoubtedly submit her resignation, which will not happen, after she wants to openly admit that she has committed plagiarism.”
“The other serious reason you could argue, which would be like in the most dignified way, that I also do not see the scenario possible unless she is under great pressure, is to say if her person were to go to the detriment of the education of justice at the highest levels such as the Supreme Court, she would not This affects the credibility of the court, and therefore it is better to step aside, without admitting to having committed plagiarism,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tapia explained that the Council of the Federal Judiciary (CJF), the other body of importance in the judiciary, You can not act in this situationfor not having the jurisdiction to punish ministers.
Moral damage or revocation of a professional license
Other proposed scenarios for the future of the minister, in the event that it is verified that she committed plagiarism, are related to the possibility that the affected person, that is, the person who plagiarized the dissertation, He filed a claim for moral damages against EsquivelBourgeois said, “A scenario could exist, but in the end it is through civil proceedings, not through criminal proceedings.”
Likewise, if UNAM declares the dissertation invalid and revokes his undergraduate law degree, this will result in the SEP also I can revoke your professional licensecondition for doing business.
“Here I hope that UNAM itself will be up to the task of making an authoritative review with 100% academic technical standards and identifies what seems to us all quite obvious: that there is plagiarism, not paragraphs like Enrique Peña Nieto, but a practically complete treatise. Bourgeois concluded: “ If UNAM says nothing happens, I think UNAM’s credibility game, and its academic prestige in the face of a situation like this, goes there as well.”
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