STF forms majority in vote against ‘moderating power’ of the Armed Forces

STF forms majority in vote against ‘moderating power’ of the Armed Forces
STF forms majority in vote against ‘moderating power’ of the Armed Forces

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01/04/2024 – 20:50

The ministers of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) Gilmar Mendes, Edson Fachin and André Mendonça voted this Monday, 1st, against any interpretation that allows intervention by the Armed Forces on the Powers of the Republic or that classifies them as a “moderating power” during institutional crises. As a result, the Court formed a majority to invalidate the thesis.

The score is six to zero to overturn the interpretation of the “moderating power” of the Armed Forces. In addition to Fachin and Mendonça, ministers Flávio Dino and Luís Roberto Barroso accompanied the rapporteur, minister Luiz Fux. The votes of ministers Alexandre de Moraes, Carmen Lúcia, Cristiano Zanin, Dias Toffoli and Kassio Nunes Marques still remain. The trial will end next Monday, the 8th.

The STF’s judged action was presented by the Democratic Labor Party (PDT) in 2020. The party questioned the Supreme Court about interpretations of article 142 of the Federal Constitution, which deals with the Armed Forces. Bolsonaristas often use the passage to defend a military intervention “within the law”.

The trial began last Friday, the 29th, with Fux stating, in his vote, that the Constitution does not encourage democratic rupture. The minister also stated that the interpretation of article 142 of the Constitution must be made considering the entire Brazilian legal system, especially with regard to the separation of Powers. Fux also recalled that the Armed Forces are not a Power, but an institution at their disposal.

“Any institution that intends to take power, whatever the declared intention, outside of representative democracy or through its gradual internal undoing, acts against the text and spirit of the Constitution”, said the minister in his vote, adding that it is urgent “to constrain dangerous interpretations that allow the distortion of the constitutional text and its pillars and threaten the Democratic Rule of Law”.

In a vote against ‘moderating power’, Gilmar says that the STF reaffirms what ‘should be obvious’

In his vote, Gilmar Mendes stated that he saw with “perplexity” the need for the STF to “remove certain claims that would be considered absurd in the vast majority of constitutional democracies”. According to the judge, the Supreme Court is reaffirming that the “Constitution does not allow forceful solutions”.

“In view of everything we have observed in recent years, however, the intervention of the Federal Supreme Court is necessary to reaffirm what should be obvious: the syllogism that our Constitution does not admit forceful solutions”, pointed out the minister.

Gilmar also declared that the Bolsonarist demonstrations calling for military intervention through article 142 of the Constitution are an outcome of a process of political protagonism by military leaders in the country.

“From 2013 onwards, however, there has been a gradual process of reintroducing the political protagonism of senior military leaders, in a clear reissue of practices whose incompatibility with the Constitution today we can perceive with unequivocal clarity”, he stated.

In a vote, Dino called the dictatorship an ‘abominable period’

On Sunday, the 31st, the date on which the 1964 Military Coup completed 60 years, Dino voted against the “moderating power” of the Armed Forces, stating that there is no “military power”. “Power is only civil, made up of three branches anointed by popular sovereignty, directly or indirectly. To such constitutional powers, the military function is subordinate,” he highlighted.

Dino also used his vote to criticize the military dictatorship (1964-1985), a period he called “abominable”. “The rule of law has been destroyed by the illegitimate use of force,” he said. “These are pages, to a large extent, surpassed in our history. However, there are still echoes of this past that insists on not passing, which proves that it is not as past as it appears to be”, he added.

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The article is in Portuguese

Tags: STF forms majority vote moderating power Armed Forces



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