STF forms majority against “moderating power” of the Armed Forces

STF forms majority against “moderating power” of the Armed Forces
STF forms majority against “moderating power” of the Armed Forces
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The vote of the rapporteur, minister Luiz Fux, prevails, against the interpretation that the Armed Forces can exercise a “moderating power”.| Photo: Gustavo Moreno/SCO/STF.

The Federal Supreme Court (STF) formed a majority this Monday (1st) against the interpretation that the Armed Forces can exercise “moderating power” in the country. The trial takes place in the virtual plenary and is scheduled to end next Monday (8). So far, the score is 6 votes to zero.

The Court analyzes an action filed by the PDT in 2020. The party questioned the use of article 142 of the Constitution to justify the use of the Army, Navy and Air Force to interfere in the functioning of democratic institutions.

In June 2020, the case’s rapporteur, minister Luiz Fux, granted the injunction to confirm that article 142 does not authorize intervention by the Armed Forces in the Three Powers. According to the text of the provision, the military is under the authority of the President of the Republic and is intended to defend the country and guarantee constitutional powers, informed the Brazil Agency.

So far, Fux’s vote prevails in the trial. “The institutional mission of the Armed Forces in defending the homeland, guaranteeing constitutional powers and guaranteeing law and order does not accommodate the exercise of moderating power between the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary powers”, stated the rapporteur.

Ministers Luís Roberto Barroso, André Mendonça, Edson Fachin, Flávio Dino and Gilmar Mendes followed Fux’s understanding. The votes of ministers Alexandre de Moraes, Cármen Lúcia, Cristiano Zanin, Dias Toffoli and Nunes Marques are missing.

Dino highlights that there is no “military power” in Brazil

Minister Flávio Dino highlighted in his vote that there is no “military power” in the country. “The power is only civil, constituted by three branches anointed by popular sovereignty, directly or indirectly. To such constitutional powers, the military function is subordinate, as stated in article 142 of the Magna Carta”, he stated.

Dino presented a reservation to the rapporteur’s vote, adding the determination that, in addition to the Attorney General’s Office of the Union, the full ruling determined by the STF on the subject must be sent to the Minister of Defense, José Múcio, so that “there is dissemination for all military organizations, including training and improvement schools and the like”.

“The notification aims to expunge misinformation that has reached some members of the Armed Forces – with limited practical effects, but worthy of maximum attention due to its high potential for harm to the Homeland. There is no doubt that any theses that go beyond or defraud the real meaning of article 142 of the Federal Constitution, established imperatively and unequivocally by this Supreme Court, must be eliminated”, highlighted Dino.

Gilmar Mendes criticizes the politicization of the Armed Forces

The Dean of the STF, Minister Gilmar Mendes, criticized the “harmful impacts” of the politicization of the Armed Forces. He said he sees with “perplexity” that the Court “is obliged, in the current historical period, to have to reject certain claims that would be considered absurd in the vast majority of constitutional democracies on the planet”.

“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,” said Mendes.

The magistrate pointed out that during the administration of Jair Bolsonaro (PL) the military occupied “a countless number of public positions in the structure of the federal government”. For the dean, “activities such as political articulation and activity with an ideological or partisan content are incompatible with the military profession.”

Gilmar Mendes also criticized the role of the military in the Elections Transparency Commission established by the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) during the 2022 elections. The minister stated that the “Armed Forces sought, at all times, to cast doubt on the honesty and integrity of the electoral process”.

“They acted in support of a movement that sought to discredit the electoral system in order to facilitate the achievement of hidden political purposes. It was an operation to harass the Electoral Court that was absolutely unacceptable and incompatible with the constitutional order”, he reinforced.

The judge followed Dino’s reservation so that the STF’s decision on the matter could be forwarded to the Armed Forces. “In my opinion, this is a measure that, in addition to just deepening the conclusions of the eminent Rapporteur, proves to be salutary in view of the proliferation, described above, of acts that indicate undue politicization of the Armed Forces”, he highlighted.

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The article is in Portuguese

Tags: STF forms majority moderating power Armed Forces

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