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Brazilian Political Science Review (Online)

On-line version ISSN 1981-3821


ROS, Luciano Da. Judges in the formation of the Nation-State: professional experiences, academic background and geographic circulation of members of the Supreme Courts of Brazil and the United States. Braz. political sci. rev. (Online) [online]. 2010, vol.5Selected edition, pp. 0-0. ISSN 1981-3821.

This article compares the career profiles of judges from the highest bodies of the Judiciary in Brazil and the United States of America, examining the biographies of all the ministros of the Supreme Court of Justice (Empire) and of the Supreme Federal Tribunal (Republic) in Brazil, and of all the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, appointed until 2008 in both cases. Based on the sociology of political elites perspective, the article examines data concerning academic background, geographic circulation and the different professional experiences - legal, political and linked to the administration of the State's coercive activity (police or military) - lived through by future members of the Supreme Courts of Brazil and the United States so as to identify the types of individuals recommended to join the top bodies of the Judiciary in the two countries. In this sense, different State-building processes are identified on the basis of the examination of Brazilian and US judicial elites, suggesting a more fragmented and diverse trajectory in the case of US justices, and greater homogeneity and centralization in the case of their Brazilian counterparts.

Keywords : Judicial careers; State-building; Political recruitment; Brazilian Supreme Court; United States Supreme Court.

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