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January 17, 2022

US Ambassador – concerned about Constitutional Court decision

“The U.S. Embassy is concerned about the decision of the Constitutional Court on the constitutionality of the proposals to amend the Romanian Constitution,” reads a press release from the US Embassy in Bucharest. The desire of Romanian authorities to strengthen the administration of justice in Romania in the fight against corruption is laudable. Critical to that effort are amendments to the Constitution to allow the seizure and confiscation of illegal assets and to restrict the current very broad legislative and ministerial immunity, to bring all into compliance with Western norms. Not only does the Court’s decision thwart that effort but, in the name of “fundamental rights,” it takes this decision away from the people. The Romanian people through their elected representatives should be able to freely consider these changes.

Amending the Constitution in a republican democracy ought not to be at the whim of temporary majorities, but rather the people should have the power to correct judicial error. (…) We understand that the Romanian Constitution gives the Constitutional Court the extraordinary authority to halt the constitutional reform process. In the United States there is a strong tradition of “Judicial Restraint” by which Justices of the Supreme Court choose not to exercise the full scope of their authority, the release further reads.

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