Korea’s second female Constitutional Court justice ends term after historic ruling

Korea’s second female Constitutional Court justice ends term after historic ruling

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The Constitutional Court’s Acting Chief Justice
Lee Jung-mi… ended her term today,… just three days after the historic ruling in the
impeachment trial against Park Geun-hye. Lee was the one who read out the ruling that
marked the start of a new era for Korea. Kim Ji-yeon, who followed the process from
day one,… brings us this story. At a ceremony on Monday marking the end of
her six-year term, Interim Chief Justice Lee Jung-mi thanked the public for its support
and recalled how difficult it was for the Constitutional Court to ensure the court proceedings…
and its ruling… would be impartial. “Although we have undergone great pains to
arrive where we are now,… in retrospect I believe it’s served as a valuable experience
for the country to grow into a more democratic nation rooted in the Constitution and the
rule of law.” The 55-year-old Lee is the youngest of the
eight justices who made history with their unanimous decision to uphold the impeachment
motion against Park Geun-hye. Lee became the interim chief justice after
former Chief Justice Park Han-chul ended his term in late January. Lee’s reputation as a hardworking judge whose
devotion to the court superseded all else… was solidified after an image of her went
viral. She was captured on her way into court, just
hours before she would read out the impeachment verdict,… wearing pink plastic rollers in
her hair,… which ignited a round of stories about her dedication to her work and how she
was too busy with her job to give more than a second thought to her appearance. Lee is the second woman ever to serve as a
Constitutional Court justice after Jeon Hyo-sook , whose term ended in 2006. Lee worked on several landmark cases during
her time on the court, including the legalization in 2015 of an anti-graft law affecting public
servants, educators and the media. She was also on the bench during a controversial
2014 case that disbanded the far-left Unified Progressive Party, after the court concluded
that party members sought to overthrow the country with the assistance of North Korea. Before becoming a Constitutional Court justice,
Lee served as a district judge for nearly 25 years. Lee is expected to be succeeded by attorney
Lee Seon-ae after a parliamentary confirmation hearing later this month. “Until then, the Constitutional Court will
have seven justices on the bench, with Kim Yi-su serving as the interim chief justice. Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.”

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