After the scandal generated by the ruling of the Superior Court of Justice, which establishes that only those who cannot pay for private education will be able to claim vacancies for public schools, the plaintiff’s lawyer in the case that originated the sentence, Eduardo Barreyro, told Page 12 who are preparing to appeal to the Supreme Court of Justice “because we have all the elements to do so.” The judicial resolution violates the Constitution of the City and is in line with the position of the Buenos Aires government: according to the lawyer, the TSJ took “textual” arguments from the Ministry of Education led by Soledad Acuña and the actions of the judges were fully aligned with the Power Executive. “They were so obsequious that it’s terrible,” he said. Different organizations and political spaces will promote a request for impeachment against Marcela De Langhe, Inés Weinberg, Santiago Otamendi and Luis Lozano, the judges who voted in favor of the sentence that violates equal rights in childhood.
The ruling, which consists of 43 pages, sets an alarming precedent not only for initial education, but for all levels of public education and even, potentially, for other areas. The lawyer Cecilia Fernández, from the Strategic Litigation group, asked herself: “And in health what is going to happen? Will hospitals also be only for the poor? They are sending signals for other things. In one of the paragraphs of the ruling, Judge De Langhe makes a statement of regulations and ends by concluding that higher education is for those who have the merit of accessing a vacancy. In our country that does not exist, “he remarked.
Judge Lozano – who wrote some fragments of his argument in English – wrote in the ruling that the demands for vacancies should not be individualized, but should be grouped together in a collective demand of the NGO Civil Association for Equality and Justice (ACIJ). This organization, in response, published a statement in which it detailed the contradiction of the position of the TSJ and the City Government when denying universal access to vacancies. “Almost ten years ago, within the framework of an agreement in force with ACIJ, the GCBA recognized the important problem of lack of vacancies and undertook, as established in the Constitution of the City, to guarantee access to initial education from 45 days and up to five years, through a work plan sustained and financed over time. However, this situation has only worsened. “, they clarified, in relation to the growing lack of vacancies, which went from 3,500 in 2011 to 9,120 in 2019, according to the organization’s data.
The ACIJ, in this sense, clarified that the TSJ “distorts the constitutional system for the protection of rights at the head of the Judicial Power” and that “the judicial decision that considers that the GCBA is not obliged to guarantee vacancies prior to a three-year chamber , is absolutely regressive with respect to the commitments that the Local Executive Power had already assumed “.
“It is the most brutal ruling I have ever seen,” said Barreyro, who in addition to representing the plaintiff family in the case in question is a lawyer for hundreds of families who are in the same situation. “I could give a class on constitutional law explaining everything that should not be done with this Court resolution, because it violates the rights of children, equality and education, among others. The problem is that they confuse education with welfare“, he said and recalled that” the second instance ruling, unlike the one issued by the Supreme Court, is very well founded. There are 23 judges in this instance who say the opposite to the Court, judges who entered by competition. If the TSJ thinks that the judges of the first and second instance are going to follow it, they are wrong, “he said.
For Cecilia Fernández, as for Barreyro, the Court’s arguments are in line with those of the City government. The highest body of Buenos Aires justice and the executive postulate that “education is not compulsory after 45 days, but after four years. But, Although until the age of four the parents can decide not to send the child to school, the State has the obligation to guarantee the vacancy if the family so wishesThis is precisely what article 24 of the Buenos Aires Constitution establishes, which says: “The City assumes the non-delegable responsibility of ensuring and financing state, secular and free public education at all levels and modalities, starting from the forty-five days of life up to the higher level, with a compulsory character from preschool to completing ten years of schooling, or the period longer than the legislation determines “.
In the event that the complaint appeals to the ruling, the Supreme Court of Justice must define whether or not to take the file. “We will appeal this or the next one because we have many cases for the same issue in court. We have to see if the Court wants to deal with it,” said the plaintiff’s lawyer in the case. Fernández’s perspective, meanwhile, is that “with the Court you never know because it does not have established deadlines to resolve it. It may decide not to treat it, or it may take it and resolve it. In that case, the outcome is also uncertain. , because for us the ruling of the Supreme Court is incredible, but the Court can go in the same direction. ”
In the ruling, the judges rely on the responsibility of the Buenos Aires Legislature on the matter. The former councilor for Children and Adolescents in the Legislature José Machain emphasized – in dialogue with this newspaper – that the judges who voted in favor of the ruling argued that “the legislators have not provided the Executive with the budget items for the expansion of children’s rights to access vacancies, which is tremendously cynical, because these magistrates cannot ignore that the Buenos Aires Legislature, since the PRO is a government, has an automatic majority. ” “They are the ones who, not only do not provide the necessary funds to expand, but have systematically reduced the educational budget until 2021 is the lowest in the last ten years”he added.
Due to this complicity between the TSJ and the PRO, Machain is promoting, along with other sectors, a political trial against these judges. “The majority of the TSJ is not fulfilling the role for which they were assigned, which is to ensure the full validity, in all its aspects, of the Constitution of the City.” In that sense, he added that “we have to set a precedent so that this type of situation does not go unnoticed. If the Supreme Court does not make room, let it be clear that there is a huge rejection and that we did everything to avoid these situations.” “We can ask for impeachment as citizens together with organizations such as Families for Public Schools, social organizations, legislators and different sectors of the educational community,” he indicated and warned that “this is just beginning.”