House set to raise age cap for Supreme Court appointments

age cap Supreme Court
View of Brazil’s Supreme Court building from the presidential palace. Photo: Valter Campanato/ABr

Brazil’s House Speaker Arthur Lira will hold a floor vote next week on a proposal to raise the maximum age for high court nominations — including the Supreme Court — from 65 to 70.

On Wednesday, a special committee approved the bill unanimously, as it serves the interests of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, former center-left President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and leaders of the “Big Center,” a federation of mildly conservative parties. Many legal experts from across the spectrum would benefit from the change.

Mr. Bolsonaro is keen on favoring judges Humberto Martins and João Otavio Noronha from the Superior Court of Justice, Brazil’s second-highest judicial body. They would fit the president’s political alignment criteria and have consistently ruled cases in favor of the Bolsonaro family in corruption probes.

To the left, the amendment would make lawyer Lenio Streck, 67, eligible for a Supreme Court nomination were Lula to win this year’s election. Mr. Streck is a prominent figure among the legal scholars who support the Workers’ Party campaign.

The next president will make at least two Supreme Court nominations in 2023.