The rule of law in Brazil suffered mightily during the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro. His pugnacious public-security rhetoric, antagonism to environmental and indigenous issues, and connivance with corruption contributed to deepening long-standing problems of Brazilian democracy, while setting a number of traps that his successor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, is now forced to navigate. Despite the apparent success of political institutions in blocking Bolsonaro’s most damaging threats to democracy, they have not emerged unscathed. The high court, in particular, has been tarnished by its increasing politicization and the clear evidence that it continues to fail to deliver the most basic foundations of a democratic rule of law.

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