BRASILIA (Reuters) – The Brazilian Senate late on Wednesday approved the nomination of Kassio Nunes to the Supreme Court, swiftly signing off on right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro’s first nominee to the nation’s top judicial body.
Nunes, a conservative and a former appeals court judge, was approved with 57 votes in favor, 10 opposed and one abstention.
As a Catholic, Nunes’ nomination came as a surprise after Bolsonaro earlier vowed to pick an evangelical Christian for the bench.
But the president has promised to nominate an evangelical justice next year. Supreme Court Justice Marco Aurelio Mello will step down next year on reaching the legal limit of 75 years old, creating a vacancy.
During the nomination hearing, Nunes referenced God, prayers and psalms and said that his appointment to the Supreme Court was “a true calling.”
“I have conviction that the work – the good fight – is a manifestation of God that leads everyone in all professional occupations,” Nunes told a Senate committee on Wednesday, prior to his confirmation by the full chamber.
Nunes is 48 years old and will only be aged out of the court in 2047.
(Reporting by Maria Carolina Marcello, Ricardo Brito and Anthony Boadle; writing by Jake Spring; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)