[EDITORIALS]Start the whole process overThe term of the chief justice of the Constitutional Court has ended, but his successor has not yet been chosen. This is because the president nominated a candidate in an expedient way, the nominee behaved inappropriately and the government and the political circle were ignorant of the law.
We pointed out that taking action based on principle, such as the nominee’s voluntary withdrawal or the president’s withdrawal of his nomination, would be right thing to do. However, the ruling Uri Party and three minor opposition parties are trying to use another expedient: a political compromise. They suggested the Legislation and Judiciary Committee hold a hearing to approve the nominee as a judge on the Constitutional Court, even if she has already resigned that position in an attempt get a longer term as chief justice.
These expedients ignore the importance of the constitutional law and other laws. Many maintain that the last hearing was invalid due to flaws in the process. If the hearing counted and the nominee was approved, the chief justice would have been employed with flaws. It is obvious what side effects would be entailed.
Legislators who think the National Assembly’s right to approve a nominee was ignored due to the expedients can file a lawsuit with the Constitutional Court to decide where a certain duty or right belongs.
In this case, the Constitutional Court will then deal with the case regarding its own chief justice. Citizens who think the chief justice of the court was employed through an illegal process can apply for provisional disposition and ask for suspension of her duties.
The chief justice of the Constitutional Court would be the judge at the same time he or she participates in many trials at the court. People who filed a lawsuit can request that Judge Jeon Hyo-sook not deal with the case. If she is involved with the case, the applicant can appeal the decision.
In order to avoid these potential problems, the president could nominate Ms. Jeon once again and hold the hearings again.
However, she resigned as judge, which is a wrongful act, and stood at the hearing as a civilian, not as a judge, which sparked the controversy that she violated the Constitution. If they stick to this nominee and go through the same process, the status of the president, the Constitutional Court, the National Assembly and even the country would be damaged. The right thing to do is for the nominee Jeon to voluntarily resign and for the president to show repentance and start the process afresh.