Minister Luiz Fux, president of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), stated this Wednesday (8) that “no one will close” the Court and that contempt for court decisions by the head of any power constitutes a crime of responsibility.
Fux made the statement at the opening of this Wednesday’s session of the Supreme. The speech was a reaction to the speech of President Jair Bolsonaro who, on Tuesday (7), during a demonstration on September 7 in favor of the government and anti-democratic agendas, made coup threats and stated that he will no longer comply with decisions made by STF minister Alexandre of Moraes.
- Read the full Fux statement on anti-democratic demonstrations
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In his speech on Tuesday, during the demonstration in São Paulo, Bolsonaro defended the “framing” of Moraes.
Bolsonaro returns to attack the Supreme Court and the electoral system in acts with anti-democratic agendas
“This Federal Supreme Court will never accept threats to its independence or intimidation to the regular exercise of its functions. No one will close this Court. We will keep it standing, with sweat and perseverance”, said the minister.
Fux also defended that “offending the honor of the Ministers, inciting the population to propagate hate speeches against the institution of the Supreme Court and encouraging the non-compliance with judicial decisions are undemocratic and illicit practices, which we cannot tolerate in respect of the constitutional oath we made by assuming a seat at the Court”.
“If contempt for judicial decisions occurs at the initiative of the head of any of the powers, this attitude, in addition to representing an attack on democracy, constitutes a crime of responsibility, to be analyzed by the National Congress”, said Fux.
“The Federal Supreme Court will also not tolerate threats to the authority of its decisions.”
Fux urged Brazilians to pay attention to the “false prophets of patriotism, who ignore that true democracies do not allow the people to be set against the people, or the people against their own institutions.”
“We all know that those who promote the discourse of ‘us against them’ do not propagate democracy, but the politics of chaos. Brazilian people, do not fall into the temptation of easy and messianic narratives, which create false enemies of the nation”, said Fux.
Also according to Fux, “the true patriot does not close his eyes to the real and urgent problems of Brazil. On the contrary, he seeks to confront them, like a tireless artisan, weaving minimal consensus between groups that naturally think differently”.
Fux also declared that, “in a mature political environment, questioning of judicial decisions must be carried out not through disobedience, not through disorder, and not through the chaos caused, but certainly through resources, which are the proper procedural channels”.
Aras defends due process
After Fux’s speech, the Attorney General of the Republic, Augusto Aras, who was also present at the Court session, stated, without citing Bolsonaro, that “the voice of institutions is also the voice of freedom” and that “disagreements, be political or procedural, shall be dealt with respecting the due legal and constitutional process.”
Aras said the September 7 protests were “a civic celebration with peaceful demonstrations, which took place hegemonically in an orderly manner on the public roads of Brazil.”
“They were an expression of a plural and open society, characteristic of the democratic regime. After a long period of social distancing, vaccination already enables protesters to gather. The voice on the street is the voice of the people’s freedom,” said Aras.
Repercussion of Bolsonaro’s speech
Jurists heard by TV Globo and the GloboNews they stated that President Jair Bolsonaro committed a crime of responsibility by affronting constitutional principles, such as saying that he will not comply with the decisions of Minister Alexandre de Moraes.
According to specialists, the acts insufflated by the president and the threats to the ministers of the STF and the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) directly affront the Brazilian Constitution.
Jurists said that President Bolsonaro defied the Constitution
“In constitutional grammar, there is no framework for a minister of the Supreme Court in his judicial decisions by the sole will of the president of the Republic, who is a head of another power, which in Brazil is a head of state”, said Gustavo Binenbojm, Doctor of Law Public and professor at the State University of Rio de Janeiro.
“So, the president’s speech clearly seems to me to be a speech that threatens independence and harmony between the powers. And then he says he would no longer comply with any decision made by Minister Alexandre de Moraes, that he no longer exists for the president of the Republic. Hence, it also threatens to fail to comply with judicial decisions. In both cases and from a constitutional legal point of view, the attack on independence and harmony between the powers and the failure to comply with judicial decisions, in theory configure the practice of a crime of responsibility by the President of the Republic”, he completed.
The jurists heard highlighted article 85 of the Constitution: “The acts of the President that violate the Constitution and, especially, against: the free exercise of the Legislative Power, the Judiciary, the Public Ministry and the Constitutional Powers of the units of the Federation; compliance with laws and court decisions.”
Former Supreme President Carlos Ayres Britto used an expression used by President Bolsonaro himself.
“I don’t miss the opportunity to say that it is my pleasure to hear the president say that he plays in the four lines of the Constitution. It turns out that in the four lines of the Constitution there are two state protagonists by definition. They are the ones who first enter the field to play. order, the legislature and the executive. And the third party that enters the field is as an arbitrator, as a judge of this match. And the judge is the judiciary. And within the scope of the judiciary, it is the Federal Supreme Court, which makes such decisions imperatively, of singular or monocratic form, a minister deciding alone, as the case may be; by the class, fractional decision; or by the full, plenary decision of the Supreme. Now, when these decisions are taken, the executive branch is responsible for respecting,” he said.
“The rules of the game are these, they are in the Constitution. Escape, to use a language that the president has been using, is not much to my liking, but I will use this language to ‘frame.’ of the Republic frame the judiciary. Even less the Supreme Minister, still less the Supreme as a whole. The Supreme ministers and the Supreme as a whole can frame members of the executive power. That’s in the Constitution, that’s part of the rules of the game,” he added.
Former STF minister Celso de Mello agrees and understands that Bolsonaro attacked the independence of the judiciary with threats.
“This behavior by Bolsonaro reveals the shadowy figure of a ruler who is not ashamed of disrespecting and vilifying the essential meaning of the institutions of the Republic. It is necessary, for this very reason, to reject the autocratic essays and the gestures and impulses of institutional subversion practiced by those who wield power,” said Celso de Mello.