David Alcolumbre, former president of the Senate and currently in charge of the House’s Constitution and Justice Committee, released a harsh and eloquent note on the pressures he is facing to mark the hearing of André Mendonça, former justice minister and former lawyer -general of the Union, appointed by President Jair Bolsonaro to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court, opened with the retirement of Marco Aurélio.
I reproduce it below and come back right away.
The defense of democracy, independence and harmony between institutions and, above all, the Constitution has always guided my political position. Several times I stood against those who sought a democratic rupture, disrespecting the constituted powers, the freedom of the press and democracy itself in order to create political crises that would impede the country’s governability.
I have never made the exercise of the mandate subject to any exchange of political favors with anyone. It is important to clarify that the Constitution establishes the appointment of the Minister of the Federal Supreme Court not as a unilateral and imposing act by the Chief Executive, but as a complex act, with the effective and necessary participation of the Federal Senate. I emphasize that this rule exists even for other positions and has been respected and followed exactly as provided for in our Constitution.
In a recent decision, the Supreme Court recognized the regularity of our performance in the Committee on Constitution, Justice and Citizenship (CCJ) and reaffirmed the prerogative of the presidents of the permanent committees of the Senate to define the agenda of the sessions, being an internal corporis matter, insusceptible of interference, in view of the principle of separation and harmony of powers. The highest court in the country ratified the autonomy of the Federal Senate to define the agenda.
Today, the Federal Senate’s Constitution, Justice and Citizenship Committee is dealing with about 1,748 matters, all of enormous relevance to Brazilian society. The priority of the Legislative Power, at the moment, must be the resumption of growth, the generation of jobs and finding solutions for the rise in prices that erode the income of Brazilians.
I have suffered attacks of all kinds. They attack my religion, they accuse me of religious intolerance, they attack my family, they accuse me of fanciful personal interests. They want to transform the legitimate autonomy of the president of the CCJ into a political act and a religious war.
I reaffirm that I will not accept being threatened, intimidated, harassed or blackmailed with the endorsement or participation of anyone.
Here is the decalogue of the triumph of politics over undue pressure
1: THE FOUR LINES
It should be noted that the note came to light after Alcolumbre had lunch with Flávio Bolsonaro at Zero Um’s fabulous mansion. It doesn’t seem to have been effective. On CNN, the one they call “Myth” said Alcolumbre acts “outside the four lines of the Constitution”. The speech made the senator even angrier. After all, it’s a lie.
2: “INTERNAL CORPORIS” QUESTION
It is worth noting: the president of the CCJ does act to stick to Bolsonaro’s poor metaphor, “within the four lines”. There is nothing in the Constitution that imposes a deadline for the marking of the hearing. This was, in fact, recognized by the Supreme, in the penalty of Minister Ricardo Lewandowski, when he refused to grant an injunction in a writ of mandamus that sought to impose the hearing. In addition to the instrument being inappropriate, the minister acknowledged that it was an “internal corporis” issue.
3: NO MATCH, NOTHING DONE!
Senators pressure Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco to take the nomination directly to the floor. Then, yes, the Constitution would be damaged, and the Supreme could intervene. Candidates for ministers of higher courts must undergo “public pleading”, according to “Subsection a” of Subsection III of Article 52 of the Constitution. And who makes this claim is the CCJ, according to “Subsection a” of Item II of Article 101 of the Senate’s Internal Regulations. Article 118 of the RI provides 15 days for matters submitted to the CCJ. But they are extendable. Or there would not be, as Alcolumbre reminds us, 1,748 matters pending there.
4: THE EVIDENCE OF THE WALLED DICK
The pressure against Alcolumbre, in fact, is gigantic and not only part of some more virulent evangelical leaders, who make no effort to hide that André Mendonça would be a kind of “religious intervention” in the court. As a matter of fact, Bolsonaro himself treats him like just another prick. In conversation with ruralistas, he said a few days ago that, if he is reelected, he will have the right to nominate two more ministers, thus providing for “four guarantees in the court”. This is an offense to the independence of the Supreme and the Senate itself, which makes the argument, via CCJ, and votes the nomination in the plenary.
5: UNTIL ANTI-SEMITISM
Alcolumbre is Jewish. In the PocketNarist sewersfera, the condition has been remembered, attributing itself to the senator, well look!, religious prejudice, what is the balacobaco! Obviously, I never doubted that these people could push the anti-Semitism button at any time. The similar currents of Pocketnarism around the world are fanatically anti-Semitic. Here, there is a somewhat particular circumstance because there is part, yes, of the Jewish community that supports Bolsonaro, which maintained good relations with the government of Benjamin Netanyahu (while it lasted). This is purely circumstantial.
6: WASHER PRESSURE
The president of the CCJ is also a target of laundering, especially from, let’s say, the gang’s “press faction”. Alcolumbre would be holding André Mendonça’s indication because he would have conflicted interests and would be forcing his hand to negotiate. Well then: if there is such a negotiation, let the sages who know the arcana reveal them. What would Alcolumbre want? Since when has this government not paid the price it is being charged in return for support? Ask the “secret budget”. I note, however, that this supposed negotiation leaks into “gossip columns” — with all the bows… — but it is never said, after all, what would be in negotiation. Which is?
7: THE 2019 ELECTION AND AFTER
Reportedly, at lunch. Flávio would have remembered that the government helped in the election of Alcolumbre as president of the Senate, in 2019, against Renan Calheiros. And it really helped! Which was, by the way, inappropriate and even shameful. The action was improper. In any case, in charge of the Senate – and this is not the first time I have written this – Alcolumbre behaved with correctness and always defended the prerogatives of the Legislative and rejected Bolsonaro’s coup.
8: TARGET OF THE SHOPPERS ALWAYS
Did Alcolumbre act to facilitate government agendas at the Casa? The answer is “yes”, especially on the issue of Social Security reform, in partnership with Rodrigo Maia, who then presided over the Chamber. This did not prevent the pair from being the target of the first coup protest that had the support of Planalto, on May 26, 2019.
9: A AGU EO IMPEACHMENT
If anyone knows of Alcolumbre’s conflicted interests, which he would be exchanging for Mendonça’s hearing, let him say so. Which are they? Enough of inferences. The fact: you don’t have to schedule the hearing. By the way: in an opinion sent to the STF, the Attorney General of the Union states that Arthur Lira (PL-AL), president of the Chamber, is not obliged to process the impeachment requests – or eventually file them. It is true! The Constitution does not oblige him to do so. How does he not oblige Alcolumbre to schedule the meeting.
10: DATE OF SURRENDER
I count the deadline for Mendonça’s nomination as of September 9, I’ve already written it here — date of Bolsonaro’s letter of surrender. Before that, discussing the Sabbath was disgustingly immoral. After all, did the President of the Republic organize the act that called for the closure of the Supreme Court and wanted to appoint one of his “guaranteed” to the court? The hypothesis was simply indecent.
Opera summary: the issue is of a political nature. And the delay in the hearing is an expression of this nature. The president evidences such a distorted understanding of the role of the STF and confronted the institutions to such a high degree that, instead of Alcolumbre, WITHIN THE RULES OF THE GAME, I would seek to leave the court’s vacancy filling for 2023.
For the rest, agree, Mendonça himself never made any effort to demonstrate that, once in court, he would not be a mere henchman of Bolsonaro, with the additional indigestible spice of laundering and all that this entails in terms of aggression against the rule of law and due process cool.
Let the policy react. And with good reason.