[EDITORIALS]A constitutional challenge

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[EDITORIALS]A constitutional challenge

Some Uri Party lawmakers do not know when to stop criticizing the Constitutional Court. They may not like the court’s ruling, but how can they call the verdict “a judicial coup d’etat” infringing on the freedom and rights of the people and the National Assembly? The remark is serious; it rejects the basis of the Constitutional Court’s existence and challenges the constitutional order.
At a National Assembly hearing yesterday, a governing party lawmaker labeled the Constitutional Court “a politicized court,” and “a reactionary court.” The court had ruled that the Uri Party-backed bill on construction of a new administrative capital was unconstitutional, and the lawmaker said the ruling amounts to a “Dec. 12 military revolt and May 17 coup.” He said the court made “a political ruling only because it doesn’t agree with the president and the government.”
Even if a legislator is immune from liability for statements made during legislative sessions, the lawmaker certainly went too far. That is why the Constitutional Forum has said the constitutional values of this country have been damaged or ignored under the political slogan of abolishing vested interests.
It is perfectly okay to disagree with the court’s ruling, but a lawmaker must know that if he damages the legislative system that is based on the constitution, the National Assembly can also be damaged by the same means. When the governing politicians reject the Constitutional Court, a pillar supporting our country will collapse.
Targeting the seven justices who ruled that the capital relocation attempt was unconstitutional, the lawmaker launched character attacks by saying they had worked as judges and prosecutors under the military dictatorship. Such criticism is immature. The lawmaker seems to believe that all public servants at that time are disqualified from positions because they were all collaborators of the dictatorship. At the time, President Roh Moo-hyun was a judge, and many of this administration’s ministers and incumbent Uri lawmakers were serving the government. Do they all have to step down?
The governing politicians must stop their denunciation of the Constitutional Court. Such an act ignores the spirit of the separation of powers and the independence of the legislative, executive and judicial branches. The legislature’s attempt to control the judiciary is simply arrogant.
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