Something wicked this way comes

Well, actually, it’ll most likely stay in Europe. But it’ll be yet another test of the EU, and this one could be uglier than you think. Think “Fledgling European Dictatorship”.

In a free and fair election last spring in Hungary, the center-right political party, Fidesz, got 53% of the vote. This translated into 68% of the seats in the parliament under Hungary’s current disproportionate election law. With this supermajority, Fidesz won the power to change the constitution. They have used this power in the most extreme way at every turn, amending the constitution ten times in their first year in office and then enacting a wholly new constitution that will take effect on January 1, 2012.


Under the new constitutional order, the judiciary has taken the largest hit. The Constitutional Court, which once had the responsibility to review nearly all laws for constitutionality, has been killed off in three ways. First, the government expanded the number of judges on the bench and filled the new positions with their own political allies (think: Roosevelt’s court-packing plan). Then, the government restricted the jurisdiction of the court so that it can no longer review any law that has an impact on the budget, like laws pertaining to taxes and austerity programs, unless the law infringes particular listed rights. Finally, the government changed the rules of access to the court so that it will no longer be easily able to review laws in the abstract for their compliance with the constitution. Moreover, individuals can no longer challenge the constitutionality of laws without first going through a lengthy process in the ordinary courts. The old Constitutional Court, which has served as the major check on governmental power in a unicameral parliamentary system, is now functionally dead.

The ordinary judiciary has suffered a similar fate. The government lowered the retirement age for judges from 70 to 62, giving judges only a few months to adjust to their new futures. More than 200 judges will be forced to retire from the bench starting on January 1, including most of the court presidents who assign cases and manage the daily workings of courts. The new law on the judiciary requires that the Supreme Court president have at least five years of Hungarian judicial experience. The current president of the Supreme Court is disqualified because his 17 years of experience as a judge on the European Court of Human Rights do not count. Therefore, he must leave office on January 1 also.

And it gets worse from there.

Yes, it is at Krugman’s column. However, it is not him doing the writing and from every other account I’ve read on these developments, the lady knows of what she speaks.

This entry was posted in Evil walks the earth. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Something wicked this way comes

  1. emdfl says:

    Funny, I don’t remember reading any stories like this when one of the time’s favorite commies(Chevez) was doing worse in Venezuela.

  2. Kristopher says:

    Sounds like they are reining in an out of control judiciary.

    Judges have no business telling the legislature how to ( or not to ) spend money, and in the US, the SCOTUS very very rarely hears individual pleas.

  3. Rivrdog says:

    It’s a dramatic change, but I’m with Kristopher. Reading the changes, what they are going to wind up with is a judiciary similar in scope to ours. What they had before, evidently, was more of a Star Chamber with their “Constitutional Court”. Their idea of requiring Hungarian experience for judges is brilliant.

    The problem of Europe, as I see it, is that there was too much cultural blending, too soon. I was just digesting the idea of a common economic sphere, then woke up the next day to find that an entire new super-government had been voted in…Poof, Farging Majik, as a well-known Atlanta blogger says.

    The problem was that the various European societies evolved over two thousand years, and to force them to subvert their cultures to a Greater Europe with the stroke of a pen was wrong, and it’s beginning to show now. Europe as a political entity will fail, and Hungary is only the beginning, for the real fight will be over who comes out on top in what remains: France or Germany. Europe as a structure was also doomed when they considered membership for the likes of the Russ and the Turks, who were never part of the “old” Europe.

    So, you see, nothing much changes, it all boils down to France and Germany fighting each other, just as before. Probably no bullets to be exchanged there now, only Euros, but it will be just as bitter a battle.

  4. Rivrdog says:

    Oh, and this is a model for the “un-do” of Socialism in THIS nation. We’ll have to watch the Hungarian experience closely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.