Now former ASUC associate justice José Marrero Rosado resigned at last week’s senate meeting, citing “illegitimacy” within the student government resulting from last school year’s tumultuous election cycle.
In a resignation letter, Marrero Rosado criticized a resolution the senate passed last week brought forth by ASUC Chief Legal Officer Jedidiah Tsang. The resolution recognized the legitimacy of ASUC Judicial Council members appointed at the end of the 2019 spring semester. Marrero Rosado felt these appointments were “unconstitutional” and that the senate’s recognition of them as legitimate appointments extended beyond its power.
In his resignation, Marrero Rosado also criticized the ASUC’s alleged lack of transparency in the process of clarifying internal offices and appointments. ASUC President Amma Sarkodee-Adoo, Executive Vice President Andy Theocharous, Chief Communications Officer Bryan Huang, and Tsang rejected many of Marrero Rosado’s accusations in a statement to The Daily Californian.
“The resolution wanted to recognize an unconstitutional act,” Marrero Rosado said. “If (Judicial Council appointees) were not meant to be there to start with, it calls into question everything.”
Believing that the Judicial Council members’ appointments were illegitimate to begin with, Marrero Rosado said all following decisions made by the council are illegitimate as well. According to Marrero Rosado, this includes the plea deal Student Action accepted in May of this year that allowed the party its seats in the senate and other ASUC offices.
Consequently, Marrero Rosado came to the conclusion that the ASUC currently has an “illegitimate legislative session,” as he stated in his resignation letter.
“What I feel is just disappointment,” Marrero Rosado said. “You’re swimming against the water trying to have a legitimate association … It was too much.”
According to Tsang, the emergency order made late in spring semester — which simultaneously filled vacancies and granted terms to Judicial Council members — was legitimate since the ASUC constitution itself does not specifically state that the senate cannot do both concurrently.
Therefore, according to Tsang, the resolution passed last week only clarified and recognized the legitimacy of past actions in order to publicly state that the current senate session is, in fact, legitimate as well.
Tsang also clarified that the ASUC sought advice from outside counsel when making decisions surrounding the Student Action plea deal last spring.
“The proceedings referenced in Former Justice Marrero-Rosado’s resignation were made thoughtfully and with the consultation of nonpartisan appointed officials, faculty advisors, and professional legal counsel,” the statement from ASUC officials said.
Within the same statement, ASUC officials said Marrero Rosado’s resignation will have “no effect on the functioning of the Judicial Council,” considering his term was set to end the fall semester of 2019 regardless of his resignation. The search to fulfill the Judicial Council’s associate justice vacancy is ongoing.