Until 2007, José Antonio Dias Toffoli led an unexceptional law career as the legal representative for the Workers’ Party and, on different occasions, a mid-tier legal advisor for its politicians. Eleven years ago, however, he rose to prominence, when then-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva named him Solicitor General. Only two years later, Mr. Dias Toffoli was appointed to the Supreme Court, at just 41 years old. His tenure on the bench can last until 2037, when he’ll reach the age limit for justices at 70 years old.
Now, at 50 years of age, he has become the court’s youngest Chief Justice in history.
In Brazil, unlike the U.S., the Chief Justice position is rotative. The leader of the court serves a two-year term and steps down, being replaced by the Associate Justice with the most time in the court without having already served as the Chief Justice. So, Justice Dias Toffoli will lead the Judiciary branch of government until 2020.