DARKNESS ON DEMOCRACY: Former Socialist Lula da Silva’s Lawyer Assumes Seat on Brazil’s Supreme Court


The new Supreme Court minister, Cristiano Zanin Martins, and the socialist president of Brazil, Lula da Silva. Zanin Martins served as the Brazilian president’s lawyer. Photo by: Valter Campanato/Brazil Agency


Cristiano Zanin Martins, 47, took office on Thursday, August 3, on the Supreme Court of Brazil. He previously defended the current socialist president Lula da Silva against charges of corruption and money laundering in Operation Car Wash.

The appointment of Zanin Martins surprised the entire country due to his ties with Lula da Silva’s defense, especially for his role in defending the socialist when the current Brazilian president was imprisoned for corruption.

Also striking are the personal relations of Zanin Martins’ family with Lula da Silva. Valeska Teixeira, Zanin’s wife, is Silva’s goddaughter.

Valeska’s father, Roberto Teixeira, has been a friend of the socialist president for over 40 years. Martins is to stay in the Court until the year 2050 – when he will turn 75 and will be required to retire, as dictated by Brazilian law.

The new Supreme Court minister replaced ex-minister Ricardo Lewandowski, who was also appointed by Lula in 2006.

Zanin Martins’s inauguration was honored by several politicians and personalities from the legal world. Zanin Martins will have the power to judge cases involving former president Jair Bolsonaro at the Supreme Court, as well as Lula da Silva’s decisions that were suspended in the Court.

During a Senate hearing, the new Supreme Court minister affirmed he will not judge Lula’s cases in which he acted as a lawyer but did not dismiss judging new cases that may arise in the Court.

The appointment of Cristiano Zanin Martins has been heavily criticized by members of the opposition to Lula da Silva’s government. Politicians accused Lula of trying to rig the Supreme Court in his favor since his party was responsible for appointing most ministers who currently make up the Court.

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The former judge of Operation Car Wash and current senator, Sergio Moro, criticized Zanin Martins’s nomination. Moro said that the appointment of Lula da Silva’s former lawyer to the Supreme Court breaches the Court’s independence and the republican ethos.

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Fernando de Castro is a Brazilian conservative journalist and international correspondent for The Gateway Pundit since 2021.

You can email Fernando de Castro here, and read more of Fernando de Castro's articles here.