It is better not to make a decision: The Italian Constitutional Court postponed the hearing on Italicum until Oct. 4. It was a political move concealed behind the stated intention not to interfere with the political calendar, that is, with the constitutional referendum.
The date of the referendum, Nov. 27 or Dec. 4, will finally be announced by the government on Monday. But at this point, the voters will have to decide on the new constitution without the judgment of the judges on the other leg of Renzi’s reforms, which is the electoral law.
The predictable failure on the eve of the referendum would have been a blow too heavy for the government. Renzi had staked his trust on Italicum. Analysts spoke of “harm reduction,” according to which a positive judgment on Italicum issue would have clarified to voters that the electoral law needed to be changed and thus would have helped Renzi in his “Yes” referendum campaign. But it would not be and could not be positive because Italicum has many defects in common with the old electoral law, already dismantled by the judges. Thus, the postponement.
A postponement with political nuances is unusual for the court.