Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Stephen Harper Should Look for a Woman to Fill a Spot on Supreme Court

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Stephen Harper Should Look for a Woman to Fill a Spot on Supreme Court

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Stephen Harper should look for a woman to fill a spot on Supreme Court

--

An editorial from the Toronto Star, published March 28:

If Prime Minister Stephen Harper is peeved that the Supreme Court has shot down his latest, embarrassing appointment to the high bench, he is biting his tongue. Better yet, he has decided not to compound his gaffe by trying to do an end run around the court.

It's a wise man who knows when it's time to suck it up and move on.

While "very surprised" that Canada's top justices rejected his Quebec nominee, Justice Marc Nadon, by a strong 6-1 margin, Harper has prudently decided to swallow his wounded pride and to respect both "the spirit of the decision" and its letter rather than try to circumvent it, as the Star's Tonda MacCharles reported. Anything less from a self-professed law-and-order Prime Minister would have invited contempt and ridicule.

The Supreme Court found Nadon's appointment to be void because the law requires that nominees for the three Quebec seats on the nine-member court must come from the Quebec superior trial or appellate courts or be from among members of the bar with 10 years' experience. As a semi-retired judge on the Federal Court of Appeal who hadn't lived in Quebec or practised law there for decades, Nadon simply wasn't eligible and Harper was wrong to put him forward. The provision is in the law to protect Quebec's unique legal rights within the federation.

Harper made a mess by ignoring precedent and the law in naming Nadon over Quebec judges and lawyers who are fully entitled to be appointed. Nadon's name didn't appear to be on anyone's shortlist. But he has upheld the Conservative government's stance in several controversial cases and is regarded as sharing Harper's view that the courts should defer to Parliament and the government. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.