Yesterday in round one of the Sonia Sotomayor Senate confirmation hearings many Republican Senators mentioned Miguel Estrada. The talented Harvard educated lawyer was once up for Senate confirmation himself.
These days Estrada is less worried about confirmation hearings and more focused about the political situation of Honduras, his homeland. He has analyzed the constitution and stated that while Zelaya’s arrest was “legal, and rather well justified to boot,” his exile was not.
The biggest mistake the press is making when describing the situation is saying it is a military coup. What is happening in Honduras is NOT a military coup. Estrada explains why. In an editorial published in the Los Angeles Times: Honduras’ Non-Coup he writes:
Something clearly has gone awry with the rule of law in Honduras — but it is not necessarily what you think. Begin with Zelaya’s arrest. The Supreme Court of Honduras, as it turns out, had ordered the military to arrest Zelaya two days earlier. A second order (issued on the same day) authorized the military to enter Zelaya’s home to execute the arrest. These orders were issued at the urgent request of the country’s attorney general. All the relevant legal documents can be accessed (in Spanish) on the Supreme Court’s website. They make for interesting reading…
It is also worth noting that only referendums approved by a two-thirds vote of the Honduran Congress may be put to the voters. Far from approving Zelaya’s proposal, Congress voted that it was illegal.