STF never had ministers from 6 states and the DF – 04/01/2023 – Power

STF never had ministers from 6 states and the DF – 04/01/2023 – Power

The possible appointment of another white man to the STF (Federal Supreme Court) opened a debate about the lack of diversity on the court. But the issue is not restricted to gender or color. Also in the regional scope, the court is far from mirroring the characteristics of the Brazilian population.

In the history of the STF in the Republic, there has never been a minister born in six states of the country (Acre, Amapá, Mato Grosso do Sul, Rondônia, Roraima and Tocantins), in addition to the Federal District.

According to court data, the states that had the most representatives on the court were Rio de Janeiro (33), Minas Gerais (30), São Paulo (26) and Rio Grande do Sul (18). Then come Bahia and Pernambuco, with 14 and 11 ministers each, respectively.

The “southeastern” face that marks the court has been consolidated since the country’s re-democratization.

Currently, out of 11 ministers, 7 came from the Southeast, 2 from the South, 1 from the Northeast, 1 from the Midwest and none from the North, considering the place of birth.

For the composition to be representative of the five regions of the country, it would have to have something close to 4 or 5 ministers from the Southeast, 1 to 2 from the South, 3 from the Northeast, 1 from the Midwest and 1 from the North.

Since each minister can remain in office for his or her appointment until reaching the age of 75, the responsibility for the face of the Supreme does not rest with just one president. Currently, there are ministers appointed by five representatives.

Gilmar Mendes, by Fernando Henrique Cardoso (PSDB); Cármen Lúcia, Ricardo Lewandowski and Dias Toffoli, for Lula (PT); Luís Roberto Barroso, Edson Fachin, Luiz Fux and Rosa Weber, for Dilma Rousseff (PT); Alexandre de Moraes, by Michel Temer (MDB); André Mendonça and Kassio Nunes Marques, for Jair Bolsonaro (PL).

All these presidents contributed in some way to the concentration of ministers from the Southeast and South, which increased over time.

On Sarney’s first day as president, there were four foreign ministers from the South and Southeast: Aldir Passarinho, Carlos Madeira, Djaci Falcão and Rafael Mayer, all from the Northeast.

When Collor took office, that number dropped to two.

From Itamar Franco onwards, the court photograph on the day of the presidential inauguration only had at most one minister from the Northeast and none from the North. In the cases of Temer, Bolsonaro and the second term of Dilma Rousseff (PT), none of the two regions.

Born in Diamantino (MT), Gilmar has since his appointment been the only Minister from the Midwest. Former Federal Prosecutor and Advocate General of the Union, he built his career in Brasilia.

Currently, Kassio Nunes Marques, from Teresina (PI), chosen by Bolsonaro, is the court’s only northeastern minister.

If the appointment of Cristiano Zanin, one of the main candidates for Lewandowski’s vacancy that opens this month, is confirmed, the court’s regional profile will be maintained.

Lula’s lawyer and friend, Zanin is from Piracicaba, in the interior of São Paulo, and has an office in the city of São Paulo. Based on his appeal, the petista had convictions annulled because the Supreme Court considered former judge Sergio Moro partial.

The president himself said earlier this month that “everyone would understand” if he referred his friend to the STF.

Lula later said that he still does not know who he will nominate and that he has no commitment to any candidate. On the other hand, she exalted the defender of her processes related to Operation Lava Jato. “Zanin was the great legal revelation in recent years,” she said.

Without citing Lula’s lawyer, professor Flávia Santiago Lima, from the Faculty of Law of the University of Pernambuco, says that greater regional diversity in the STF would be important to give legitimacy to the court and strengthen Brazil’s federative system.

She points out that, on the agenda of issues that may eventually be judged by the Supreme Court, there are issues that concern the specificities of the country’s regions.

Among the examples cited by the professor are state intervention in economic sectors, such as sugar and alcohol; land demarcations; state environmental protection laws; and constitutional limitations on state tax laws.

Professor of law at UFBA (Federal University of Bahia), Samuel Vida believes that there is a normalization of the political attitude that he calls “southeast-centric” in the country, to the detriment of regional plurality.

“In this sense, the composition of the STF concentrated in members originating from the Southeast and the South atrophies the project of democratization and pluralization of the Federal Constitution of 1988”, he says.

In his opinion, there should not be a formal criterion of regional representation in the court, but the concentration of ministers from a single region could compromise the court’s ability to reflect the complexity of Brazilian society.

“The next vacancies to be appointed by President Lula, in the delicate context of resuming the democratizing process, offer a unique opportunity to correct the current distortions, including also the contemplation of other relevant variables for the recognition of national plurality, such as race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality”, he says.


GOVERNMENT 2023-2026

GOVERNMENT 2027-2030

  • Luiz Fux (Apr.28)

  • Carmen Lúcia (Apr.29)

  • Gilmar Mendes (Dec.30)

GOVERNMENT 2031-2034

GOVERNMENT 2039-2042

GOVERNMENT 2043-2046

GOVERNMENT 2047-2050

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