There has been considerable legislative tension between the pro-government controlled Supreme Tribunal of Justice and the opposition-majority National Assembly of Venezuela following the December 2015 election. Last November the National Assembly postponed a symbolic trial of President Nicolas Maduro in an effort to ease political tension in the nation [JURIST report]. In October the National Assembly voted to open criminal impeachment proceedings [JURIST report] against Maduro, alleging that he manipulated the constitution to remain in power. That same month the Assembly also declared [JURIST report] that there is a breakdown of constitutional order and that the government had staged a coup by blocking an attempt to remove Maduro from power. In June government officials asked the Supreme Court to deny a referendum [JURIST report] to remove Maduro proposed by opposition leaders. In April Venezuela's opposition-led parliament approved [JURIST report] new referendum rules. In March the Supreme Tribunal of Justice ruled that the Venezuelan national assembly may not review the appointment of 13 justices [JURIST report] to the high court by the Socialist Party.