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Brazil's Supreme Court elects 1st black president

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October 10, 2012 05:43 PM EST | AP

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SAO PAULO — Brazil's first black Supreme Court justice has been chosen as the presiding judge for the high court.

Joaquim Barbosa was elected Wednesday as Supreme Court president. His two-year tenure begins next month with the retirement of the court's current president, Carlos Ayres Britto.

Barbosa currently is presiding over a high-profile corruption trial involving a congressional cash-for-votes scheme.

His election is not a surprise because the Supreme Court presidency always goes to the justice who has sat on the bench the longest. Barbosa became a Supreme Court justice in 2003 and is the only black to have ever served on the court.