UK Supreme Court Rules Parliament Shutdown Illegal
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Since taking office on July 24, virtually everything Tory Prime Minister Boris Johnson put to a vote was defeated — an unparalleled record of failure over a short period, especially for a new leader.
Notably, Johnson lost every no-deal Brexit/snap election vote, winning no support from majority MPs, including from some fellow Tories, expelling 21 party members for opposing his agenda, losing a parliamentary majority.
On September 9, he suspended (prorogued) parliament for five weeks until October 14.
Speaker John Bercow responded to the move, saying “this is not a standard or normal (parliamentary shutdown), prorogation. (It’s) an act of executive fiat.”
Others called his aim to ram through a no-deal Brexit a coup attempt against a parliamentary majority against it.
Following an emergency three-day session last week, Britain’s Supreme Court ruled against Johnson’s shutdown, unanimously calling it illegal, saying:
“It is impossible for us to conclude, on the evidence which has been put before us, that there was any reason – let alone a good reason – to advise her majesty to prorogue parliament for five weeks, from 9th or 12th September until 14th October.”
“We cannot speculate, in the absence of further evidence, upon what such reasons might have been. It follows that the decision was unlawful.”
“(A)dvis(ing her majesty to prorogue parliament was unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification.”
“Parliament has not been prorogued. This is the unanimous judgment of all 11 justices. It is for parliament, and in particular the speaker and the (House of) Lords speaker, to decide what to do next.”
The High Court also upheld Scotland’s highest civil court ruling that Johnson mislead the queen in getting her approval for what demanded rejection.
Separately in response to Tuesday’s ruling, Brexit party leader Nigel Farage tweeted:
“The calling of a queen’s speech and prorogation is the worst political decision ever. Dominic Cummings (Johnson’s chief of staff) must go” — believed to be behind his move.
Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn said the judicial ruling against Johnson “demonstrates (his) contempt for democracy and abuse of power by him,” adding:
He’ll demand Speaker Bercow call MKs back in session, stressing the following:
“I invite Boris Johnson…to consider his position and become the shortest serving (UK) prime minister there’s ever been.”
“Obey the law. Take no deal off the table, and have an election to elect a government that respects democracy.”
House of Commons Speaker Bercow said “I welcome the Supreme Court’s judgment that the prorogation of parliament was unlawful.”
MKs “must reconvene without delay. To this end, I will now consult the party leaders as a matter of urgency.”
In New York where he’ll address the UN General Assembly, Johnson declined to say if he’ll resign, following a historic ruling against him for acting unlawfully — a breach of public and parliamentary trust.
This is a developing story. Johnson’s high-risk prorogation stunt backfired, his fate uncertain.
MPs will reconvene in short order, likely for further debate on his unpopular no-deal Brexit scheme.
Will general elections be held before yearend in the wake of the latest developments?
Will Tories replace Johnson in the coming days or weeks, believing he’s damaged goods, unfit to lead, perhaps ending his political career?
Chances for his ramming through a no-deal Brexit appear quashed. Judgment awaits on his status as prime minister and member of parliament.
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