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Venezuela names 17 new judges to supreme court

[JURIST] The Venezuelan National Assembly (official site in Spanish) Tuesday approved the appointment of 5 replacement judges and 12 new judges to the nation's Supreme Court (official site in Spanish). Opposition members who lacked the votes to block the appointments stormed out of the session. The expansion was authorized by a bill approved in April, and raised the total number of judges on the Court to 32, but opponents of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (official site in Spanish) say that he is appointing loyal party men, rather then judicially-qualified individuals. Chavez has been advocating expansion of the Supreme Court ever since rulings in 2002 that hald that an attempt to remove him from power in April of that year was due to a vaccum of authority and was not an attempted coup. Bloomberg has more.

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