Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation

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National Supreme Court of Justice
Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación
Exterior of the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice
Established 1825
Country  Mexico
Location Pino Suárez no. 2, Colonia Centro, Delegación Cuauhtémoc, C.P. 06065, Mexico City
Coordinates 19°25′52.01″N 99°7′55.58″W / 19.4311139°N 99.1321056°W / 19.4311139; -99.1321056
Composition method Supreme Court
Authorized by Constitution of Mexico
Judge term length 15 years
No. of positions 11
Website https://www.scjn.gob.mx/
Currently Luis María Aguilar Morales
Since 2 January 2015
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The National Supreme Court of Justice (Spanish: Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) is the Mexican institution serving as the country's federal high court and the spearhead organisation for the judiciary of the Mexican Federal Government. It consists of eleven magistrates, known as ministers of the court, one of whom is designated the court's president.

Judges of the SCJN are appointed for 15 years.[1] They are ratified through affirmation by the Senate from a list proposed by the President of the Republic. The ministers chosen will select from among themselves who shall be the President of the Court to serve a four-year period; any given minister may serve out more than one term as president, but may not do so consecutively.

Requirements for holding a seat on the National Supreme Court of Justice[edit]

  • Be a natural born citizen of Mexico.
  • Be at least 35 years old at the time of one's appointment
  • Have held a Law degree for at least 10 years.
  • To have a good reputation and have not have been convicted of theft, fraud, forgery, breach of trust, or any other offense which could imply a punishment of more than one year in prison.
  • Not have been Director for Domestic Affairs, Chief of an Administrative Department, Attorney General of the Republic or Federal District Attorney, Senator, Member of Parliament, Governor of any State, or Chief Executive of the Federal District during the year prior to his or her appointment.

The Constitution requires that the appointment of ministers of the court should fall to those persons who have served ably, effectively and honourably in the administration of justice, or to those who have distinguished themselves by their honor, competence and professional background in the exercise of their duties.

Ministers may take leave of their posts for three reasons:

  • The end of their terms
  • Relinquishment, which is only allowed in serious cases, all of which must be affirmed by the President and accepted or discarded by the Senate.
  • Voluntary retirement: Proceeds when the interested party requests their retirement, as long as they meet the conditions of age and seniority.

Supreme Court building[edit]

The court itself is located just off the main plaza of Mexico City on the corners of Pino Suarez and Carranza Streets. It was built between 1935 and 1941 by Antonio Muñoz Garcia. Prior to the Conquest, this site was reserved for the ritual known as "Dance of the Flyers" which is still practiced today in Papantla. Hernán Cortés claimed the property after the Conquest and its ownership was in dispute during much of the colonial period with Cortes' heirs, the city government, and the Royal and Pontifical University all claiming rights. It was also the site of a very large market known as El Volador.[2]

Within the building, there are four flanks painted in 1941 by José Clemente Orozco, two of which are named The Social Labor Movement and Commonwealth. There is also a mural done by American artist George Biddle entitled "War and Peace" at the entrance to the law library.[2] The building also contains a mural by Rafael Cauduro, which "graphically illustrates the Gran Guignol of Mexican torture",[3] and includes a depiction of the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre as well as "a cut-away of a prison, perhaps the infamous Lecumberri Black Palace where student leaders who escaped death were jailed."[3]

The Supreme Court building
One of the chambers of the Mexican Supreme Court
Entrance to the court

While this building is still the chief seat for the Supreme Court, an alternative site at Avenida Revolución was opened in 2002.[4]

Current Make-up of the Supreme Court[edit]

Title Name Birth Appointer Affirmation by the Senate Age at appt. Elected /
Length of service
President Luis María Aguilar Morales 4 November 1949
(age 68)
in Mexico City
Felipe Calderón 91 60 1 December 2009
8 years, 9 months
Minister José Ramón Cossío 26 December 1960
(age 57)
in Mexico City
Vicente Fox 84 42 12 December 2003
14 years, 9 months
Minister Margarita Beatriz Luna 4 January 1956
(age 62)
in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas
Vicente Fox 83 48 19 February 2004
14 years, 6 months
Minister Fernando Franco González-Salas 4 December 1950
(age 67)
in Mexico City
Vicente Fox 94 56 12 December 2006
11 years, 9 months
Minister Arturo Zaldívar Lelo de Larrea 9 August 1959
(age 59)
in Querétaro, Querétaro
Felipe Calderón 90 50 1 December 2009
8 years, 9 months
Minister Jorge Mario Pardo Rebolledo 1 February 1961
(age 57)
in Xalapa, Veracruz
Felipe Calderón 91 50 10 February 2011
7 years, 7 months
Minister Alfredo Gutiérrez Ortiz Mena 14 October 1969
(age 48)
in Cuernavaca, Morelos
Felipe Calderón 103 41 1 December 2012
5 years, 9 months
Minister Alberto Pérez Dayán 13 December 1960
(age 57)
in Mexico City
Felipe Calderón 104 51 3 December 2012
5 years, 9 months
Minister Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza 30 January 1957
(age 61)
in Mexico City
Enrique Peña Nieto 83 58 10 March 2015
3 years, 6 months
Minister Javier Laynez Potisek 2 June 1959
(age 59)
in Torreón, Coahuila
Enrique Peña Nieto 81 56 10 December 2015
2 years, 9 months
Minister Norma Lucía Piña Hernández Enrique Peña Nieto 79


The following persons were once Presidents of the Supreme Court under the 1917 Constitution:


  1. ^ Article 94 Mexican Constitution
  2. ^ a b Galindo, Carmen; Magdalena Galindo (2002). Mexico City Historic Center. Mexico City: Ediciones Nueva Guia. p. 60. ISBN 968-5437-29-7. 
  3. ^ a b John Ross, CounterPunch, 16 July 2010, In the Basement of Mexican Justice, No One is Innocent Archived 19 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "¿Qué es la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación y dónde se ubica?" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 28 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 19°25′52.01″N 99°7′55.58″W / 19.4311139°N 99.1321056°W / 19.4311139; -99.1321056