Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court on Dec. 2 indefinitely halted its operations amid pressure from protestors aiming to block the judges from meeting to rule on the validity of the country’s new constitution (PDF). Supporters of President Mohamed Morsi flooded the court, blocking the judges from entering and forcing them to delay hearing a case that would permit them to dissolve the constituent assembly that drafted the new constitution. The constitution was hurriedly approved Nov. 28 in anticipation of the scheduled hearing. On the day after the approval, Morsi set Dec. 15 for a referendum on the new constitution. Tens of thousands of moderate and conservative Islamists gathered around Cairo University in support for the constitution, cheering as Morsi announced the referendum. However, tens of thousands of liberal and secular protesters, who have been protesting Morsi for over a week after he issued a decree vastly expanding his powers, objected to the constitution-writing assembly, stating that the body was unrepresentative after liberal, secular and Christian members had left. Such protesters are calling for Morsi to abandon his decree and begin the constitution drafting process anew, but Morsi dismissed the idea of drafting a new constitution. Mass protests have been scheduled for this week.
From Jurist, Dec. 2. Used with permission.