Power

Who is Brazil’s new Supreme Court justice?

Kassio Nunes Marques is set to take a seat on Brazil's highest court. But President Bolsonaro's supporters aren't happy

supreme court kassio nunes
Kassio Nunes Marques, the soon-to-be-named Supreme Court Justice. Photo: Ramon Pereira/Ascom/TRF1

Brazil’s longest serving Supreme Court Justice Celso de Mello retires from the court this afternoon, 31 years after first occupying his seat. His vacancy has offered far-right President Jair Bolsonaro his very first shot at appointing a justice to the Supreme Court — a process that is often fraught with realpolitik and cynical self-preservation. However, Mr. Bolsonaro’s pick — 48-year-old federal judge Kassio Nunes Marques — came as something of a shock to political pundits in Brasília.

Despite having promised an ultra-conservative and “extremely Evangelical” appointment to the Supreme Court, Jair Bolsonaro selected a justice with long-term...

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