The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (Spanish: Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) is the supreme court of Mexico and the head of the judicial branch of the Mexican federal government. It consists of eleven judges, known as ministers, one of whom is designated the court's president.

Judges of the SCJN are appointed for 15 years.[1] They are confirmed by the Senate from a list proposed by the President of the Republic. From among their number, the ministers elect the President of the Court to serve a four-year period; a given minister may serve more than one term as president, but not in consecutive periods.

Requirements to hold office

  • Be a Mexican citizen by birth.
  • Be at least 35 years old at the time of designation.
  • Having a law degree for at least 10 years.
  • To have a good reputation and have not been convicted of theft, fraud, forgery, breach of trust, or any other offense with punishment of more than one year in prison.
  • Not having been Secretary of State, Head of Administrative Department, Attorney General of the Republic or Justice of the Federal District, Senator, Federal Deputy, or Governor of any State or Head of the Federal District, during the year prior to the date of his appointment.

The Constitution stipulates that the appointments of ministers should preferably fall to those persons who have served with efficiency, ability and probity in the delivery of justice or who have distinguished themselves by their honor, competence and professional background in the exercise of the activity.

Ministers can leave the post for three reasons:

  • Conclusion of the period
  • Waiver, which is only proceeds in serious cases that must qualify the President of the Republic and approve or deny the Senate.
  • Voluntary retirement: Proceeds when the interested party requests their retirement, as long as they meet the conditions of age and seniority.

Supreme Court building

The court itself is located just off the main plaza of Mexico City on the corners of Pino Suarez and Carranza Streets. It was built between 1935 and 1941 by Antonio Muñoz Garcia. Prior to the Conquest, this site was reserved for the ritual known as "Dance of the Flyers" which is still practiced today in Papantla. Hernán Cortés claimed the property after the Conquest and its ownership was in dispute during much of the colonial period with Cortes' heirs, the city government, and the Royal and Pontifical University all claiming rights. It was also the site of a very large market known as El Volador.[2]

The interior of the building contains four panels painted in 1941 by José Clemente Orozco, two of which are named "The Social Labor Movement" and "National Wealth." There is also one mural done by American artist George Biddle entitled "War and Peace" at the entrance to the library.[2] The building also contains a mural by Rafael Cauduro, which "graphically illustrates the Gran Guignol of Mexican torture",[3] and includes a depiction of the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre as well as "a cut-away of a prison, perhaps the infamous Lecumberri Black Palace where the student leaders who escaped death were jailed."[3]

The Supreme Court building
One of the chambers of the Mexican Supreme Court
Entrance to the court

While this building is still the main home of the Court, an alternative site on Avenida Revolución was established in 2002.[4]

Current composition

Title Name Born Appt. By Senate Conf. vote Age at appt. Elected /
Length of service
President Aguilar Morales, Luis MaríaLuis María Aguilar Morales 4 November 1949
(age 68)
in Mexico City
Calderón, FelipeFelipe Calderón 91 60 1 December 2009
8 years, 4 months
Minister Cossío, José RamónJosé Ramón Cossío 26 December 1960
(age 57)
in Mexico City
Fox, VicenteVicente Fox 84 42 12 December 2003
14 years, 3 months
Minister Luna, Margarita BeatrizMargarita Beatriz Luna 4 January 1956
(age 62)
in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas
Fox, VicenteVicente Fox 83 48 19 February 2004
14 years, 1 month
Minister González-Salas, Fernando FrancoFernando Franco González-Salas 4 December 1950
(age 67)
in Mexico City
Fox, VicenteVicente Fox 94 56 12 December 2006
11 years, 3 months
Minister Zaldívar Lelo de Larrea, ArturoArturo Zaldívar Lelo de Larrea 9 August 1959
(age 58)
in Querétaro, Querétaro
Calderón, FelipeFelipe Calderón 90 50 1 December 2009
8 years, 4 months
Minister Pardo Rebolledo, Jorge MarioJorge Mario Pardo Rebolledo 1 February 1961
(age 57)
in Xalapa, Veracruz
Calderón, FelipeFelipe Calderón 91 50 10 February 2011
7 years, 1 month
Minister Gutiérrez Ortiz Mena, AlfredoAlfredo Gutiérrez Ortiz Mena 14 October 1969
(age 48)
in Cuernavaca, Morelos
Calderón, FelipeFelipe Calderón 103 41 1 December 2012
5 years, 4 months
Minister Pérez Dayán, AlbertoAlberto Pérez Dayán 13 December 1960
(age 57)
in Mexico City
Calderón, FelipeFelipe Calderón 104 51 3 December 2012
5 years, 4 months
Minister Medina-Mora Icaza, EduardoEduardo Medina-Mora Icaza 30 January 1957
(age 61)
in Mexico City
Peña Nieto, EnriqueEnrique Peña Nieto 83 58 10 March 2015
3 years
Minister Laynez Potisek, JavierJavier Laynez Potisek 2 June 1959
(age 58)
in Torreón, Coahuila
Peña Nieto, EnriqueEnrique Peña Nieto 81 56 10 December 2015
2 years, 3 months
Minister Piña Hernández, Norma LucíaNorma Lucía Piña Hernández Peña Nieto, EnriqueEnrique Peña Nieto 79


The following have held the position of president of the court ("Presidente de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación") under the 1917 Constitution:


  1. ^ Article 94 Mexican Constitution
  2. ^ a b Galindo, Carmen; Magdalena Galindo (2002). Mexico City Historic Center. Mexico City: Ediciones Nueva Guia. p. 60. ISBN 968-5437-29-7. 
  3. ^ a b John Ross, CounterPunch, 16 July 2010, In the Basement of Mexican Justice, No One is Innocent Archived 19 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "¿Qué es la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación y dónde se ubica?" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 28 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 

External links

Coordinates: 19°25′52.01″N 99°7′55.58″W / 19.4311139°N 99.1321056°W / 19.4311139; -99.1321056