BRASÍLIA — The impasse that keeps the appointment of former attorney general of the Union André Mendonça to the Federal Supreme Court (STF) in the Senate bins has already generated a record: the processing of his case in the House is the longest compared to all the current ministers of the Court. Since his name was made official by President Jair Bolsonaro, he has been waiting for 31 days for the president of the Constitution and Justice Commission (CCJ), Davi Alcolumbre (DEM-AP), to mark his hearing. Among the current occupants of the STF, the one who waited the longest until the CCJ’s assessment was Rosa Weber: 29 days.
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Bolsonaro filed the choice of Mendonça in the Senate on 13 July. The GLOBO survey disregards the 14 days of parliamentary recess, which took place in the second half of July. After the hearing, the name of the former AGU will still be submitted to the collegiate’s scrutiny. If it passes, the process will proceed to the plenary, where he will need the vote of 41 of the 81 senators to be able to assume the STF seat left by Marco Aurélio Mello, who retired last month.
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The slowest after Mendonça, Rose Weber’s nomination process took place in 2011, during the first year of Dilma Rousseff’s government. She formalized the choice for Rosa on November 7th. The hearing took place on December 6th of that year.
In the ranking of the longest processing, Edson Fachin is in third. The name of the then postulant to the Supreme Minister reached the Senate on 15 April, and the session took place on 12 May. At the time, he faced strong resistance from the senators and nearly had his nomination rejected by the House.
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Then appear Kassio Nunes Marques, with 19 days; Alexandre de Moraes, 15 days; Toffoli days, 13 days; Luís Roberto Barroso, 13 days; Gilmar Mendes, 13 days; Luiz Fux; 8 days; Carmen Lucia, 7 days; and Ricardo Lewandowski, 3 days.
The case of Mendonça still seems distant from the last chapters. His process was stalled by decision of Alcolumbre, the person responsible for the CCJ agenda, the first stage of the procedure. It is a reflection of the institutional crisis that divides Planalto Palace and Congress.
Alcolumbre decided to hold the name of the former AGU after Bolsonaro presented the impeachment request of Minister Alexandre de Moares, of the STF. The measure was read as an affront to both the Judiciary and the Legislature. The president of the Senate and Alcolumbre ally, Rodrigo Pacheco (DEM-MG), had already made it clear that the attempt to remove STF members would not prosper in the House. Earlier this week, Pacheco ordered the filing of the request, further straining the relationship with the government.
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Even without a forecast to be judged, Mendonça continues on the campaign, knocking on the offices of all senators willing to receive him. Some refused, such as Covid’s CPI rapporteur, Renan Calheiros (MDB-AL). In conversations with parliamentarians, the former AGU has sought to distance himself from Bolsonaro, with the aim of overcoming the resistance of those who fear that he will act as a representative of the President of the Republic in the Supreme Court. Last week, Mendonça won expressive support in the largest benches in the House, including the PSD. The 11 members of the legend closed the question and promised to seal the nomination.
Several parliamentarians, especially those linked to the Planalto, have been pressuring Alcolumbre to move the process forward. Last Wednesday, senator Telmário Mota (PROS-RR) publicly demanded the president of the CCJ. Alcolumbre reacted in private: when he met Mota on the premises of the Congress, he asked him not to be attacked by his colleague. At the time, the demist said that the blame for the delay was not his, but the president of the Republic.
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At another time, on the same day, the election was presented by senator Eliziane Gama (Cidadania-AM). During a conversation with Alcolumbre in the Senate cafe, behind the House’s plenary, she asked him to schedule Mendonça’s nomination as soon as possible. The president of the CCJ gave a similar answer, arguing that he should not be held responsible alone for the slowness of the process.
The charges also come from STF ministers, who are working with the Court defrauded of a member. Some of them went directly to the president of the Senate to address the issue. Despite this, allies of Pacheco assess that the ministers themselves also consider that the occasion is not yet the most suitable for considering the name of the former AGU, given the heavy climate of the government with Congress and the Judiciary.
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The feeling is that it makes no sense for Bolsonaro to formalize the nomination to the STF at the moment he criticizes the Court. A senator even joked that “whoever closes the STF with 11 (ministers) closes with 10”, in reference to the attacks that the President of the Republic has been launching against the Court.