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Brazilian Supreme Tribunal: of the eleven Justices, seven were named by Lula and Rousseff

Saturday, April 14th 2018 - 11:10 UTC
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The three most senior justices (Celso de Mello, Marco Aurelio Mello, and Gilmar Mendes) were not PT-appointed and all voted to grant Lula's appeal The three most senior justices (Celso de Mello, Marco Aurelio Mello, and Gilmar Mendes) were not PT-appointed and all voted to grant Lula's appeal

The Brazilian Supreme Federal Tribunal acts primarily as the Constitutional Court of the country, and its rulings cannot be appealed. The court is made up of eleven members, Justices, addressed to as Ministers, and they are appointed by the president and must be approved by the Senate.

During the thirteen years in which the Workers’ Party (PT) was at the helm of Brazil's government, Lula da Silva (2003-2010) and his successor, Dilma Rousseff (2011-2016) had the opportunity to appoint eight justices. After President Rousseff’s Impeachment in 2016, sitting President Michel Temer had the opportunity to nominate just one. Thus, the PT majority on the court stands solid at seven to four.

Among the eleven justices, only the three most senior and the most junior one were not appointed by either Lula or Rousseff.

In the controversial habeas corpus appeal by Lula da Silva's defense requesting the former president remain free, despite the two sentencing, while other procedural appeals are exhausted, the final vote was 6 to 5 against the appellant.

How did it work out? The three most senior justices (Celso de Mello, Marco Aurelio Mello, and Gilmar Mendes) who were not PT-appointed all voted to grant Lula's appeal, along with two of the three justices appointed by Lula himself (Ricardo Lewandowski and Dias Toffoli). But all four justices appointed by Rousseff (Luiz Fuz, Rosa Weber, Luís Roberto Barroso, and Luiz Edson Fachin), plus the one appointed by President Temer (Alexandre de Moraes) voted to deny it. It was Lula's own appointee as Chief Justice, Carmen Lucia, who broke the tie by voting against him.

This case was the most significant that the Supreme Federal Tribunal has heard in Operation Car Wash so far. To the merit of the high court it demonstrated that justice is not purely partisan in Brazil. Given the sides the various justices took, it actually appears that perhaps seniority played a much larger role in the justices’ votes than partisanship.

Brazil has taken an enormous step in the direction of strengthening the rule of law. Operation Car Wash has sent billionaires, congressmen, senators, and governors to jail. And now, after the impeachment of a seating president for breaking the law, a former president is in jail, and he was put there by his own political appointees.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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  • :o))

    REF: of the 11 Justices, 7 were named by Lula+Rousseff:

    And YET the majority of them ruled AGAINST Lula & the fellow-crooks! This is exactly what happens when a loot is NOT divided amongst the fellow crooks! It did happen in the past [Maluf, Collor?] and with the others [Cunha, Cabral?]. They should at least have some [not crooked] ethics & unite to remain “Not Guilty”; to forever in Power!

    Apr 14th, 2018 - 01:49 pm +1
  • Jack Bauer

    Enrique Lula Massot's analysis of the SC judges appointed by Lula and Dilma, is interesting but innacurate.
    With few exceptions, the presidents who appointed the judges expected a certain amount of 'gratitude' in much so, when Joaquim Barbosa (now retired due to death threats to him and his family - just like Edson Fachin is going through now) did not let Lula off the hook in the “mensalão” as quickly as Lula would have liked, Lula publicly criticized him, calling him “ungrateful”...Wonder why ?

    Toffoli was affiliated to the PT, and was the Party's lawyer....elevated to the STF by Dilma who presumed his loyalty would be unwavering. It has been. Lewandowski was also affiliated to the PT, and showed his loyalty by not condemning Dilma to lose her political rights when impeached. Gilmar Mendes is no anti-anything...he's all for himself, going with the flow, trying to appear more than all the others, and probably attends the highest bidder. Many of his decisions, contradicting previous public positions on certain issues, are really quite inexplicable. Marco A. Mello may not be a declared petista but he seems to be favouring them of late. Alexandre de Morais, appointed by Temer - who thought it was a 'smart' move - is not being particularly loyal to to being appointed based on merit, some were, but Toffoli definitely wasn't, as even as a lawyer he was quite insignificant, but he fit the requirements to not double-cross the PT.

    It's funny how the 'petistas' (and Reekie Lula Massot) all start from the premise that the judges are always wrong, and then look for reasons to justify their allegations...or, if someone is convicted, it must be because they are innocent....unless of course, they don't profess the same ideology.

    Despite the STF judges who, as a majority did not concede Lula's HC, there was the lower court judge, the three appellate court judges and five from the STJ, who all found Lula guilty.

    Apr 14th, 2018 - 10:52 pm +1
  • :o))


    REF: “honest decision”:

    Pl. consider TWO types of decisions:
    #1: To publicise; for the masses to KNOW [Cover-Story]
    #2: Personal/Private - REAL MOTIVES
    HONEST decision? in politics? By the Politicians? Is ANYTHING really “honest” in POLITICS?

    Apr 15th, 2018 - 09:59 am +1
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