Dark Lighting: The Problem of Article 142 Interpretation at the Brazilian 1988 Constitution’s Heart

This paper reflects about the article 142 of the 1988 Brazilian Constitution, especially because there is a certain belief that this article, supposedly, could allow that alongside the legislative, executive and judicial powers, there could be some “permission” to the Armed Forces exercise a kind of “fourth power”, a kind of “neutral power” or “moderate power”. In other words, the Armed Forces are not a neutral or moderating power, but members of the executive power, and they must respect the separation of powers, the rule of law and the Constitution, something that needs to become part of their democratic culture. This paper uses the literature review methodology, with inductive aspects related to interpretation (hermeneutics), linked to the Brazilian historical context to conclude that there is no place for an interpretation in the sense of a “neutral” or “moderate” power.