Among the ministers, the prevailing understanding was that mayors and governors have autonomy to regulate decrees with restrictive measures
By 9 votes to 2, the plenary of the Supreme Federal Court (STF) on Thursday, 8, forbade the presence of a public at masses and services throughout the country. Ministers voted in this regard Gilmar Mendes, Alexandre de Moraes, Edson Fachin, Luis Roberto Barroso, Rosa Weber e Cármen Lúcia, Ricardo Lewandowski, Marco Aurélio Mello e Luiz Fux – they understood that the ban, temporary and on an emergency basis, does not harm religious freedom. Appointed by the President Jair Bolsonaro for the Court, the Minister Nunes Marques voted in favor of collective celebrations at the most critical moment of the new pandemic coronavirus in Brazil and was accompanied by the minister Dias Toffoli. Ministers analyze an Arguition of Non-Compliance with Fundamental Precept (ADPF), filed by the Social Democratic Party (PSD), which questions a decree from the governor João Doria (PSDB), which vetoed the performance of religious rituals in the most restrictive moment of the São Paulo Plan.
In his vote, Minister Edson Fachin gave a clear message to the government of President Jair Bolsonaro. “Unconstitutional is not the decree. Unconstitutional is the omission that does not act immediately to prevent preventable deaths. Unconstitutional is not to promote the means for people to stay at home with respect to the existential minimum, it is to refuse vaccines that would have prevented the collapse ”, he said. Minister Alexandre de Moraes also stressed that the Supreme Court is not “criminalizing any specific religion”.
“At times it seemed to me that we are judging a decree criminalizing a specific religion, persecuting religious, determining the arrest of pastors, priests, prohibiting any type of specific religious assistance. Some excerpts [das sustentações orais anteriores] they were really unbelievable, at a time when the country reaches almost 400 thousand deaths by Covid-19, and broke the record of 4 thousand deaths per day. The world was shocked when 3,000 people died in the Twin Towers. We have 4 thousand deaths per day and it seems that some people cannot understand the very moment of this pandemic: the absence of beds, supplies, oxygen, people dying suffocated ”, said Moraes.
In a vote of less than a minute, Minister Dias Toffoli followed the understanding adopted by Nunes Marques. Following that, Ministers Rosa Weber and Cármen Lúcia voted. The last one stated that demanding face-to-face services, at the most critical moment of the pandemic “is an act of disbelief, lack of faith in science, in the God of life and in the other” – this Thursday, 8, Brazil broke a new record and recorded 4,249 deaths from Covid-19. Dean of the Court, Marco Aurélio Mello began his vote by saying that “the greatest vaccine is not the vaccines that are in the square, but the vaccine of social isolation”. The minister also pointed out that it took the Supreme Court two days to reach the “overwhelming score” from 9 votes to 2.