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Brazil: President Nominates 8th Justice for Federal Supreme Court

(Oct. 23, 2009) On September 30, 2009, the Brazilian Federal Senate approved the nomination of José Antônio Dias Toffoli as the new Justice of the Federal Supreme Court, to replace the deceased Justice Carlos Alberto Menezes Direito. Toffoli is the eighth justice nominated during the administration of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a record number for any Brazilian administration.

Pursuant to article 101 of the Constitution, Justices of the Federal Supreme Court are appointed by the President of the Republic, with the approval of an absolute majority of the Federal Senate; they must be citizens over 35 and under 65 years of age, with notable legal knowledge and unblemished reputations. Toffoli is 41 years old and has been an attorney since 1990. He has occupied several positions in the federal government and has been the Attorney General since 2007. (Senado Aprova Indicação de Toffoli para o Supremo, JURID, Oct. 1, 2009, available at https://secure.jurid.c