The president of the TSE (Superior Electoral Court), Alexandre de Moraes, has a preferred candidate to take over one of the seven chairs of the court in May: lawyer Floriano de Azevedo Marques. The two have been friends since 1986, when they entered the Faculty of Law at USP. Minister Dias Toffoli, of the STF (Federal Supreme Court) was from the same class.
Today, Moraes and Marques are teaching colleagues. The lawyer, who was once director of the Faculty of Law, is a professor at the Department of State Law at USP and Alexandre is a professor of Constitutional Law. The two meet frequently, as they teach on the same day of the week.
The vacancy that will open at the TSE next month has acquired even greater importance in view of the proximity of the judgment of actions that ask for the ineligibility of President Jair Bolsonaro for alleged crimes committed during the 2022 electoral process.
The TSE has seven ministers: three from the STF, two from the STJ (Superior Court of Justice) and two lawyers. The mandate of one of the lawyers, Sérgio Banhos, ends on May 17. As a rule, the STF (Federal Supreme Court) receives suggestions from the TSE for names to fill the vacancy and then votes on a triple list. This list is sent to the President of the Republic, who chooses one of the names.
Moraes has been talking to STF ministers about Floriano Marques and intends to take the name to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva before sending the list to the Supreme Court.
It was Moraes who invited Marques to run for a seat on the court. If Lula agrees, Minister Maria Cláudia Bucchianeri, who substitutes for Padrão, will be passed over and will no longer be reappointed, breaking a tradition at the TSE.
The minister was appointed with the sponsorship of the mayor, Arthur Lira (PP-AL). She fell out with Moraes in 2022, when she went back on the decision that had given Lula’s campaign the right to occupy 60 insertions in Bolsonaro’s TV time. The reconsideration came after pressure from Bolsonaristas and Lira.
Among jurists, the opinion is that, due to this disagreement with Moraes, her reappointment was unfeasible. The assessment at the TSE is that, due to the decision of 2022 and her other positions in judgments, the minister would not vote along the same lines as Moraes – who tends to condemn Bolsonaro in the Aijes.
Floriano Marques has maintained good relations with PT members close to Lula for some years. Partner of one of the largest law firms in the country, he has already advocated for large companies in the area of Administrative Law, including for Odebrecht, during Lava Jato.
The lawyer was also one of the critics of the leniency agreements signed by Lava Jato with companies. For him, the dispute for protagonism between control bodies, such as the MPF (Federal Public Ministry), CGU (Controladoria Geral da União) and TCU (Tribunal de Contas da União), caused insecurity to the agreements, which are now questioned in the STF.
As director of USP, he was one of those responsible for the project to restore and renovate the library. The building was donated to USP in 2006, but due to structural problems, it was banned until 2020, when the TJ-SP (São Paulo Court of Justice) released the agreements signed by Floriano Marques with companies to receive donations. CCR and JBS committed with R$ 33 million.
It also came from him initiatives of collective support to ministers who were attacked by former president Jair Bolsonaro, especially Alexandre de Moraes and Celso de Mello, another USP alumnus.
The lawyer is also co-author of the project that gave rise to the Law of Introduction to the Norms of Brazilian Law, the LINDB, which transformed some legal principles into a rule, such as obliging judges to consider the consequences of their decisions.
Moraes wants a lawyer with a consistent curriculum for the TSE vacancy, so as not to run the risk of the new minister making decisions to please or displease certain political groups. In court, the view is that Floriano Marques would have sufficient exemption to conduct trials in a year with such a sensitive agenda for the court.
Today Floriano Marques is officially running for a seat on the TRE (Regional Electoral Court) in São Paulo. If Lula does not agree with Moraes and refuses the name of the lawyer, he would be appointed to the São Paulo court.
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