Supreme Court Minister Gudiño Pelayo dies; was swing vote

Supreme Court minister José de Jesús Gudiño Pelayo, 67, died of a heart attack while on vacation in England. His replacement could alter the balance on the 11-member Court; he was considered a swing vote between the more liberal and more conservative wings of the Court. He had also emerged, in recent years, as a reliable defender of individual rights against the State. He supported the decriminalization of abortion in the Federal District and the rights of those imprisoned in the Acteal and Atenco massacres, among others.  The Senate elects Court ministers from a list of candidates submitted by the President. His replacement could also affect the election next January of a new President of the Court, when the Ministers choose one of their own to head the Court. (Reforma 9/20, Universal 9/20)

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