José Antônio Toffoli has been the personal lawyer of President Lula in the last three [presidential] campaigns, occuppied the juridical consultancy of the Office of Chief of Staff in the administration of the former minister José Dirceu and, since March of 2007, he has been the Solicitor-General of the government - sort of a legal consultant of the government. At the age of 41, he is preparing himself for a big leap in his career: he is the favorite in the Planalto [Presidential Palace] to fill one of the two positions of Justice of the Supreme Federal Court that will be open before the end of 2010. Toffoli says that he will accept the position if he is invited, but he rejects the suggestions that he will be a soldier of the Workers' Party [the government party] in the Court. In an interview to VEJA, the young lawyer ... defends the decriminalization of abortion and gay marriage - even though he is a practicing Catholic, the brother of a priest and nephew of a monsignor and goes assiduously to Sunday Mass.
The secretary-general of the CNBB [Conferência Nacional dos Bispos do Brasil - National Conference of the Bishops of Brazil], Bishop Dimas Lara Barbosa, defended the appointment of the Solicitor-General, Minister José Antônio Dias Toffoli, to the STF [Supreme Federal Court] this Tuesday. The bishop said that Toffoli, a Catholic by formation, has the competency to take over the position of Justice Menezes Direito in the Court - who died one month ago."The Minister has declared to be a Catholic person. Father Toffoli himself attested to the competency and ethical behavior of his brother. Therefore, we expect that the Judiciary may exert its function with the collaboration of the future Justice in order to make justice happen in our country", the bishop affirmed.
The lawyer is the brother of Father José Carlos Toffoli, a former assistant of the CNBB. Toffoli will be heard this Wednesday by the CCJ [Constitution and Justice Committee] of the Senate. His name must be approved by the full Senate before being named to the STF.