Power

‘Senator Underpants’ ignites new clash between Congress, Supreme Court

The infamous Chico Rodrigues case is set to cause a feud between the Senate and an increasingly demoralized Supreme Court

senator
Senator Chico Rodrigues. Photo: Roque de Sá/Ag.Sen./Div.

Unknown to most Brazilians until this week, Senator Chico Rodrigues of Amapá made international headlines after the Federal Police raided his home and found cash valued at thousands of dollars stashed “between his buttocks.” But while the case was received more as a fitting punchline to the degrading lows that corruption scandals seem to reach, it could have very serious consequences.

And that is because a Supreme Court justice ordered the suspension of Mr. Rodrigues from office for 90 days, a decision that can only be enforced if a majority of Brazil’s 81 senators agree with it —...

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