How democracy is being undermined by constitutional amendments in Brazil

Scholars have repeatedly denounced the existence of a recent movement of democratic deterioration around the world. The use of legal means to do so is known as “abusive constitutionalism” overcoming typical illegal military coups that denied the agenda of liberal democracy, maintaining a full democracy appearance. Recently, Brazil has experienced challenges to its young democracy, while constitutional amendments, when analyzed by the lens of abusive constitutionalism, can denote threats to the institutional design adopted inasmuch as, in casuistic and circumstantial ways, compromises independent checks as the Supreme Court. A clear example of this movement is the “amendment of the cane”, a constitutional amendment whose meaning, by increasing the age of ministers retirement, was to exclude from the Workers’ Party Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff two nominations to the Supreme Court during her tenure, adapting democracy to the wishes of legislative and executive elites.