Venezuela Supreme Court rejects recount … before anyone asks

posted at 9:21 am on April 18, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Americans often get frustrated by the lengthy process of dealing with legal disputes in the US.  It can take years to adjudicate lawsuits, only to then wait for years longer while appeals work their way through to the Supreme Court.  If our lengthy process annoys you, then you’ll love Venezuela.  In that country, the Supreme Court rules without being asked — especially for its buddies in the Chavez regime:

 Even before any legal motion was filed, the pro-government head of Venezuela’s Supreme Court on Wednesday slapped down demands for a recount of the hotly contested presidential election that gave a narrow victory to Hugo Chavez’s acolyte, Nicolas Maduro.

It was another blow to efforts to challenge Maduro’s win and comes as opposition members say they also fear a wave of political and legal repression. … 

Luisa Estela Morales, president of the Venezuela Supreme Court, said during a news conference Wednesday that it was impossible to conduct a ballot-by-ballot recount because the voting system is automated. “Those who have been thinking this could happen were fooling themselves,” she said.

She made her comments even though the opposition had not formally filed a petition for a recount.

Er … shouldn’t automated counting make recounts easier? One of the issues raised by Henrique Capriles in his demand for a recount were the 370,000 “null” ballots counted, which outstripped Maduro’s electoral lead of 262,000.  A hand recount of the ballots would at least allow for some determination of whether those ballots didn’t get counted properly by the automated system, or had been tampered with in order to prevent their being counted.  If nothing else, running the ballots through the system again would allow for a recheck of the first machine count.

And why did Morales issue a ruling without being asked?

Chavez, a rather flamboyant populist leader of Venezuela since 1999, died of cancer March 5, but not before loading key state institutions, such as the electoral tribunal and the Supreme Court, with his supporters. …

It was Morales who issued a perplexing ruling last month that allowed Maduro to assume the presidency immediately upon Chavez’s death, a controversial decision that critics said sidestepped the constitution and was aimed at making his election a fait accompli.

Yesterday, John Kerry called for a recount in his testimony to the House Foreign Affairs Committee:

“We think there ought to be a recount,” Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill, but added, “I don’t know whether it’s going to happen.”

Kerry also told the House panel he had not yet determined if Washington would recognize Maduro’s victory as legitimate.

In response, Maduro called Kerry’s demand “obscene”:

“It’s obscene the U.S. intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela,” Maduro said at the Miraflores presidential palace.

“Take your eyes off Venezuela, John Kerry. Get out of here. Enough interventionism,” he said.

Of the possibility Washington might not recognize his election, Maduro said: “We don’t care about your recognition. We have decided to be free and we will be free and independent, with you or without you.”

Obscene? Sounds like a case of projection.  Don’t expect the White House to remain firm on this, though.  Barack Obama didn’t pick John Kerry as Secretary of State as a show of strength and determination in American foreign policy.

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That will not go down well. Dumb move.

dogsoldier on April 18, 2013 at 9:25 AM

This is a Liberal’s wet dream: judges so activistic that you needn’t even petition them, they just anticipate your every need like one of Client 9′s vendors.

Akzed on April 18, 2013 at 9:28 AM

They should have thought about this before they elected a collectivist progressive years ago. It’ a real commitment – like joining the mob.

forest on April 18, 2013 at 9:32 AM

This will have the effect of completely de-legitimizing the “election”. I’m sure Obama is taking notes.

I suspect the Bus Driver won’t be able to hold the Chavez Regime together for long, however.

wildcat72 on April 18, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Nobody tell Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. about this.

IlikedAUH2O on April 18, 2013 at 9:35 AM

This is a Liberal’s wet dream: judges so activistic that you needn’t even petition them, they just anticipate your every need like one of Client 9′s vendors.
Akzed on April 18, 2013 at 9:28 AM

We are closer to that with our Imperial Court than you realize. Just a few Traitor Roberts and Wide Latinas more and we are there.

wildcat72 on April 18, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Come on – obama and his cabal supported Chavez 100% – and they will support Maduro 100%.

Who cares?

Pork-Chop on April 18, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Nobody tell Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. about this.
IlikedAUH2O on April 18, 2013 at 9:35 AM

It’s a TAX! ” -Justice” Ackbar Roberts

wildcat72 on April 18, 2013 at 9:38 AM

This is our USSC after a couple more Obama appointees.

Paul-Cincy on April 18, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Sean Penn and Joe Kennedy hardest hit… or something…

J.H. on April 18, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Will the media ask our POTUS about a more realistic idea to stop massacres? Can Chief Justice Roberts rule THIS idea constitutional without a case before him? LOL

A guy up at Harvard found that the Militia act of 1792* required Americans to buy their own guns and even ammo.

This was not mentioned much during the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act debate.

Now if they can make us buy things, why not things we need and like?

How about a gun bill requiring arms for every home and gun posts and crow’s nests when we assemble in crowds?

This is the American way!

IlikedAUH2O on April 18, 2013 at 9:53 AM

* I wrote this from memory, there is some act like that, so look it up. No kidding, amigos e amigas.

IlikedAUH2O on April 18, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Gangsters being gangsters. Surprise!

Limerick on April 18, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Where is my surprise face I’ve seemed to have misplaced it.

D-fusit on April 18, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Business as usual in Venezuela.

Bitter Clinger on April 18, 2013 at 10:05 AM

It’s the Chicago Way.

Akzed on April 18, 2013 at 10:06 AM

I suspect the Bus Driver won’t be able to hold the Chavez Regime together for long, however.

wildcat72 on April 18, 2013 at 9:33 AM

He won’t.

Really, this situation is almost perfect for Capriles and the opposition. Maduro was weakened significantly by having to cheat to defeat him, and Capriles will now not be held responsible when the Venezuelan economy, already on its last legs, completely crashes. Now that Maduro has power, how is he going to handle it? He’s neither as charismatic nor as gifted as Chavez was.

Doomberg on April 18, 2013 at 10:06 AM

He won’t.

Really, this situation is almost perfect for Capriles and the opposition. Maduro was weakened significantly by having to cheat to defeat him, and Capriles will now not be held responsible when the Venezuelan economy, already on its last legs, completely crashes. Now that Maduro has power, how is he going to handle it? He’s neither as charismatic nor as gifted as Chavez was.

Doomberg on April 18, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Regimes like the one Chavez created (and Obama is trying to create) don’t long outlive their creators because they are largely Cults of Personality. Plus there will be inevitable infighting for the crumbs by all of Chavez’s former toadies.

They are actually a greater threat to the Bus Driver in chief than Capriles.

The Castro Regime will suffer a similar fate when Fidel finally kicks the bucket.

The only reason why the Iranian Regime has survived is because it’s based on an evil religious cult (islam) rather than a personality cult.

wildcat72 on April 18, 2013 at 10:12 AM

“We think there ought to be a recount,” Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill, but added, “I don’t know whether it’s going to happen.”

Kerry also told the House panel he had not yet determined if Washington would recognize Maduro’s victory as legitimate.

This is called “CYA”. They want Maduro (“He’s one of us!”- i.e. a fellow socialist), but they’re not sure he’s going to survive in power. Hence, the attempt to have it both ways.

The messge to Maduro is; get your house in order, now. By The One and Co.’s standards, Capriles needs to go away. But Maduro needs to be a bit less obvious about it than Marcos was with Aquino. (They remember how that turned out.)

Since Chavez has already stacked the government with his puppets in a way that would have done Huey Long proud, the Word to Maduro is “prove you’re pulling the strings, get this done ASAP”.

I think Venezuela is about at the point most South American “strong man” states end up at sooner or later. The point where the Big Question is, “Which way will the army jump?”

clear ether

eon

eon on April 18, 2013 at 10:47 AM

You know it’s pretty blatant when even Lurch is on the right side of this issue. Venezuela is fast on its way to martial law. Last I was aware, there was a warrant out to arrest Capriles for “instigating violence” in the protests that have ensued. Whether that’s an actual plan or another power ploy, I don’t know, but the Socialist propaganda machine has been up and running in full force.

Gingotts on April 18, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Gingotts on April 18, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Definitely a ploy. In fact, one which Herr Schickelgruber would have been proud of, as they borrowed it from his playbook;

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/government-backers-wreak-havoc-in-small-venezuelan-town-as-rivals-trade-violence-accusations/2013/04/17/d45e5af0-a728-11e2-9e1c-bb0fb0c2edd9_story.html

Chavez’(now Maduro’s) thugs are terrorizing anyone in the country who isn’t 100% behind Maduro. While Maduro accuses Capriles of “fomenting violence”.

Somewhere in Hell, Ernst Rohm is smiling.

clear ether

eon

eon on April 18, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Funny Venezuela uses the same voting machines we use here in the US and Florida and many other states. Funny also how oddly the socialist of both nations seem to magically win critical votes by small margins that often look suspect with a sharp eye?

I don’t like he hanging chad like everyone else but we need o end this electronic voting. We need to go back to the old paper votes that are hand counted. It is just to much work to cheat the old system and it takes too many co-conspirators to game the system. A computer system with invisible digits flying through space counted by invisible fallible computer programs? Just to many angles to cheat and the cheats don’t take armies hand filling out fake ballots or multiple counters agreeing to lie.

Don’t forget somehow in Miami Florida we literally had thousands upon thousands of new sudden mysterious voters appear to swing a tight vote, and then also in Ohio odd numbers razor close, Pennsylvania areas voting near 100% for O?

It smells

C-Low on April 18, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Maduro is such a creepy clown. He isn’t even a good dictator. Stuff your ballot boxes with more dead votes so that you don’t win the election by a razor thin margin.

Illinidiva on April 18, 2013 at 3:19 PM