Luiz Fux last Thursday received the unanimous support of Brazil’s Supreme Court to become its Chief Justice. His two-year term starts on September 10.
Brazil’s Supreme Court rotates the post of chief justice among its sitting members, who are appointed by the president. Fux was nominated to the court in 2011 by former President Dilma Rousseff.
Justice Fux is the first Jew to serve on Brazil’s Supreme Court. His grandparents fled from Romania in WW2. His grandmother served as President of the Israelite Children’s Home in Rio.
In a 2012 interview to Folha de S.Paulo (Em campanha para o STF, Luiz Fux procurou José Dirceu), Fux spoke about the lobbying effort to get his nomination to the Supreme Court by President Dilma Rousseff. One of his supporters was José Dirceu, the disgraced Chief of Staff of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula), who was still an influential figure in the ruling Workers Party (PT), despite the Mensalão vote buying scandal (in which 40 politicians were indicted – DI).
In several meetings, Fux and Rousseff discussed the forthcoming criminal trial in the Supreme Court, and decided the fate of those indicted in that corruption scandal. José Dirceu interpreted the conversations as a promise of acquittal by the Justice wannabe. However, once in office, Justice Fux sided with the majority in condemning most of the defendants, including his benefactor José Dirceu.
In 2009, Fux was awarded the Theodor Herzl Trophy by the Rio Jewish Federation and the Israeli Embassy.