Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.
KAZANTSEV, Sergey Mikhailovich (b. 1955 in Leningrad) graduated from the Law Faculty of Leningrad State University (LSU) in 1977, after which he continued studying at the graduate school of LSU. Since 1981, he worked at the Department of Theory and History of State and Law of the Law Faculty of Leningrad State University (later - St. Petersburg State University), having climbed his career ladder from an assistant to deputy dean. From 1993 to 1995, he worked at the Mayor's Office (City Hall) of St. Petersburg and was the chairman of the housing committee. In 2000-2002, he was an arbitrator of the Trial Chamber of the St. Petersburg International Commercial Arbitration for Disputes in Real Estate and Valuation. On March 29, 2002, Kazantsev was appointed judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.
Complicity in the constitutional coup and usurpation of power.
Judge Sergey Kazantsev belongs to the St. Petersburg cohort of the judges of the Constitutional Court, which is considered to be the most loyal to the Kremlin. He studied at the Faculty of Law at the same time as Vladimir Putin and, moreover, worked with Putin at the Mayor's Office of St. Petersburg in 1993-1995. Nevertheless, Kazantsev had previously allowed himself to express a dissenting opinion, in particular, he did not agree with the conclusions of the Constitutional Court which allowed the property to be confiscated from the accused upon the termination of the criminal case. He also objected to the bill at rallies in 2012, which significantly increased fines for violations at rallies, introduced mandatory work for violators, forbade people from coming to rallies in masks, and imposed penalties for organizing unauthorized demonstrations. However, he, unlike his colleague Konstantin Aranovsky, signed under the approval of Putin's amendments to the Constitution in 2020, and thus bears responsibility for the legalistic design of a personalist dictatorship in Russia.
Recall that in 2020, during the hasty passing of Putin's amendments to the Basic Law, the Constitutional Court acted as the legalizer of the coup. On March 10, United Russia MP Valentina Tereshkova proposed lifting restrictions on the number of presidential terms or allowing re-election of Vladimir Putin to the presidency (“nullifying” the number of terms already held by him as president). Putin, who suddenly appeared at a meeting of the Duma, supported Tereshkova’s statement but referred to the need to obtain a Constitutional Court opinion on the conformity of the amendments to the current Constitution. Already after two days of consideration, the Constitutional Court almost wholly recognized the legality of “nullifying,” although in 1998, considering a similar case, it had forbidden President Yeltsin to run for the third time in a row. It is noteworthy that the judges explained the new decision by the “special clause” included in the Basic Law which had been absent earlier, which takes into account certain “historical factors <...>, including the degree of threats to the state and society, the state of the political and economic systems.” According to many experts and analysts, allowing Putin to remain president after 2024 was the main goal of the whole venture with the amendments.
As early as March 14, 2020, Putin signed hastily drafted amendments. Besides “nullifying the terms,” they allow the Russian authorities to ignore the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, introduce the concept of “internal threats” that the Security Council of the Russian Federation must fight, and also expand the powers of the president. They completed the constitutional and legal drafting of Putin's dictatorship and are regarded by the Free Russia Forum as an illegitimate and anti-democratic constitutional coup.