The legislative caucus of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will file for a Council of Grand Justices judgment on the constitutionality of the legislature's refusal to screen a Control Yuan nomination list, DPP caucus whip Lai Ching-te (賴清德) said yesterday.
"The application will be filed on Thursday," Lai said, adding that the Council of Grand Justices will be asked to judge whether the opposition-controlled Legislative Procedure Committee may block a bill from being placed on the legislative agenda without supplying any "legitimate" reasons.
President Chen Shui-bian (
The list has so far not been discussed at the legislative floor because the Legislative Procedure Committee has refused to put it on the legislative agenda.
Lai said the legislature's powers should rest in its plenary session, not any auxiliary committees like the Procedure Committee.
If the Procedure Committee is allowed to "randomly" block a bill from being put on the legislative agenda, Lai said, it is tantamount to allowing the committee to usurp the powers and functions of the legislative plenary session.
"By refusing to put a bill on the legislative work agenda, the Procedure Committee has actually deprived legislators who do not sit on the Procedure Committee of the right to exchange their views about the bill at the legislative plenary session," Lai said.
Lai added that such a practice would lead to the manipulation of legislative operations by a few lawmakers and eventually result in an erosion of the power of the legislature.
Because of the opposition-controlled legislature's boycott, the Control Yuan has been moribund since the six-year tenure of the previous Control Yuan members expired on Jan. 31.
Without new ombudsmen, Lai said the public cannot receive timely assistance from the Control Yuan when they file petitions.
According to Lai, the Control Yuan has received more than 4,000 appeals in the past four months, but no ombudsmen are available to handle them, undermining the rights of the people.