US

Venezuela court says it can take over Congress' powers

  • FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2017 file photo, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks with first lady Cilia Flores as they arrive to the Supreme Court, before delivering his state of the union address, in Caracas, Venezuela.  Venezuela's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday night, that it can take over responsibilities assigned to Congress. Maduro opponents are saying it's part of an attempt to install a dictatorship in the South American nation. Justices pictured from left to right; Supreme Court Vice President Maikel Moreno; Supreme Court President Gladys Gutierrez; and Supreme Court Justice Indira Alfonso. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)

    FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2017 file photo, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks with first lady Cilia Flores as they arrive to the Supreme Court, before delivering his state of the union address, in Caracas, Venezuela. Venezuela's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday night, that it can take over responsibilities assigned to Congress. Maduro opponents are saying it's part of an attempt to install a dictatorship in the South American nation. Justices pictured from left to right; Supreme Court Vice President Maikel Moreno; Supreme Court President Gladys Gutierrez; and Supreme Court Justice Indira Alfonso. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • National Assembly President Julio Borges balls up Supreme Court documents ruling that it can take over responsibilities assigned to congress, during a press conference at the National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, March 30, 2017. In a decision late Wednesday night, the magistrates said that as long as lawmakers remain in contempt of past court rulings nullifying all legislation coming out of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, the high court can assume congressional duties itself. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

    National Assembly President Julio Borges balls up Supreme Court documents ruling that it can take over responsibilities assigned to congress, during a press conference at the National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, March 30, 2017. In a decision late Wednesday night, the magistrates said that as long as lawmakers remain in contempt of past court rulings nullifying all legislation coming out of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, the high court can assume congressional duties itself. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)  (The Associated Press)

  • National Assembly President Julio Borges rips up Supreme Court documents ruling that it can take over responsibilities assigned to congress, during a press conference at the National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, March 30, 2017. In a decision late Wednesday night, the magistrates said that as long as lawmakers remain in contempt of past court rulings nullifying all legislation coming out of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, the high court can assume congressional duties itself. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

    National Assembly President Julio Borges rips up Supreme Court documents ruling that it can take over responsibilities assigned to congress, during a press conference at the National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, March 30, 2017. In a decision late Wednesday night, the magistrates said that as long as lawmakers remain in contempt of past court rulings nullifying all legislation coming out of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, the high court can assume congressional duties itself. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)  (The Associated Press)

Venezuela's Supreme Court has ruled that it can take over responsibilities assigned to Congress. Opponents of President Nicolas Maduro are saying it's part of an attempt to install a dictatorship in the South American nation.

In Wednesday night's decision, the magistrates say that as long as the opposition-controlled Congress remains in contempt of past court rulings, they can exercise congressional duties themselves.

The court has consistently sided with Maduro's government against Congress in ruling after ruling.'

Earlier this week, the high court also moved to place limits on lawmakers' immunity from prosecution.