GNP blocks DP’s pick for Constitutional Court

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GNP blocks DP’s pick for Constitutional Court

The ruling party yesterday practically killed the Constitutional Court nomination of Democratic Party-backed lawyer Jo Yong-hwan, reiterating its opposition to the human rights attorney’s left-leaning views.

“I think it is reasonable for the Democrats to withdraw the nomination, taking into account the fierce opposition of the lawmakers,” Representative Lee Myong-gyu, deputy floor leader of the GNP, said yesterday.

At a GNP meeting yesterday, Lee said the motion to approve Jo’s nomination would not be brought to the floor of the full Assembly as scheduled today because Grand Nationals on the confirmation hearing committee will not endorse Jo.

The Constitutional Court has nine justices, and the president, the chief justice of the Supreme Court and the National Assembly each have rights to nominate three. The approval of a confirmation hearing report and a majority vote in the legislature are mandatory requirements for a public servant’s appointment when the candidate is nominated by a political party.

Lee warned the Democrats to withdraw their nomination, stressing that the ruling party had no intention of approving Jo in the future. “If the DP insists on Jo, the vacancy in the Constitutional Court will have to be prolonged,” Lee said.

Representative Lee Doo-ah, a GNP spokeswoman, also urged the DP to withdraw its nomination by reminding it that the move to endorse Jo has repeatedly failed since June.

Jo, a 51-year-old human rights lawyer and a founding member of the liberal nongovernmental group Lawyers for a Democratic Society, had been nominated by the DP to succeed Cho Dae-hyen, whose tenure at the Constitutional Court ended in July.

During a June 28 confirmation hearing, Jo drew the ire of conservatives for remarks about the sinking of the Cheonan in March 2010.

Asked about the tragedy, which South Korea and other countries blame on the North, Jo said, “I’m not sure if North Korea was the culprit or not because I did not see it with my own eyes, though there is a very high possibility that the North committed the attack.”

By Ser Myo-ja []

한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

조용환 헌법재판관 선출안 무산

“북한의 천안함 폭침을 직접 보지 않았으니 확신할 수 없다”고 발언해 파문을 일으켰던 조용환 헌법재판관 후보자의 선출안 처리가 8월 임시국회에선 불가능하게 됐다.

한나라당이 조 후보자에 대한 청문보고서 채택을 거부하기로 방침을 정하고 보고서 채택을 위한 청문특위 소집도 거부해 30일 특위를 열지 못했기 때문이다. 인사청문회법(9조)은 헌법재판관 9명 가운데 국회 선출 몫 재판관(3명)은 청문보고서가 본회의에 제출돼야만 선출안 표결을 할 수 있도록 규정하고 있다.

이에 따라 조 후보자 선출안은 임시국회 마지막 날인 31일 본회의에 상정도 할 수 없게 됐다.

 한나라당 청문특위 위원인 박준선 의원은 “북한의 천안함 폭침을 부정하는 발언을 한 조 후보자는 민주당 내에서 추천과정부터 좌편향 논란이 있었던 인물”이라 고 말했다.

 민주당이 임명을 철회해 조 후보자의 임명이 최종 무산될 경우 국회가 선출하는 헌법재판관으로서는 첫 번째 사례가 된다. 상대 정당이 추천한 헌법재판관 후보에 대해선 선출안 처리에 협조해 주는 게 그간의 관례였기 때문이다. 이에 대해 민주당 청문특위 간사인 전현희 의원은 “조 후보자의 발언은 경험한 사실에 근거해 판단해야 한다는 신중한 시각을 표현한 것”이라며 “한나라당이 임명을 거부할 경우 국회가 선출하는 공직자에 대해 매우 나쁜 선례를 남기는 것”이라고 비판했다.
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