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“Yo, el Supremo”; or “The Toffoli Factor”: a Cautionary Tale From Brazil

Opinion, by Michael Royster

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – In 1974, Paraguayan author Augusto Roa Bastos published a novel, whose title in English was “I, the Supreme”.  The book’s central character, a 19th century dictator, refers to himself as “El Supremo”, and believes himself to be above all power and history: "I don't write history. I make it. I can remake it as I please…”

Fast forward to present-day Brasília, where the actions of Supreme Court (STF) Justices have called into question the legitimacy of the Court to be Brazil’s final arbiter of justice . . .

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