Ferrer Santiago to governor: Allow your successor to name new high court justice

By John McPhaul

Given the vacancy that will open in the Puerto Rico Supreme Court before the end of the year, Héctor Ferrer Santiago, a Popular Democratic Party (PDP) at-large candidate for the island House of Representatives, asked Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced on Wednesday to allow the next elected governor to appoint the new justice.

“The governor has a pattern of making appointments of people who are close to her and who are totally unable to do the job,” Ferrer Santiago said in a written statement.

“In December there will be a vacancy on the Supreme Court and it must be a legitimate governor who makes this appointment,” he said. “Wanda Vázquez was not elected by the people and received a clear rejection by the NPP [New Progressive Party] in the gubernatorial primary.”

“We are less than a month away from the elections, and this appointment must be made by the candidate [for governor] who is elected on Nov. 3,” Ferrer Santiago said.

The PDP legislative candidate stressed the importance of safeguarding judicial independence and maintaining a constitutional balance.

“The Supreme Court interprets the laws that protect the rights of Puerto Ricans,” he said. “To ensure and protect the credibility of our highest judicial forum, the appointment of the new justice must be made with legitimacy.”

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