Speculation about Joaquim Barbosa’s next move followed immediately after he announced his decision to stand down as president of Brazil’s supreme court last week. Few supreme court judges have had their faces cast as carnival masks, but Barbosa achieved an unusual level of fame through his handling of the mensalão, the cash-for-votes scandal that resulted, unprece- dentedly, in 25 senior political and business leaders going to jail. Opposition presidential candidates are courting him ahead of October’s elections.

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