Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Neither fish nor fowl

Babble on.

The lawyers have already weighed in. Penny. Tarantino. Kinsella. As one of the dwindling number of bloggers not employed in the legal profession (in a defence of the Charter SD inadvertently comes out of the closet), I don't know that I have anything of value to add to the Supreme Court Justice selection debate.

But I wouldn't be much of a blogger if I wasn't willing to jump in anyhow.

As usual, the Liberals have tried to be all things to all people and so have produced a process that is neither fish nor fowl. And thus they are excoriated from both Left and Right.

The editors at Pravda Canada (aka The Toronto Star) extricate heads from rectums long enough to pontificate:

In his rush to protect his minority government and appease a restive Parliament, martin has conceded too much to the Conservative campaign for "accountability." The Supreme Court decides controversial and groundbreaking cases, such as gay marriage, according to the laws and Constitution of Canada, not shifting political winds. Martin must ensure these hearings aren't the first step on a slippery slope that would strip a prime minister of his authority to appoint the court's two new members on the basis of their qualifications, and keep politics out of it. (Babbler's incredulous bold)
Andrew Coyne, on the other hand, rightfully acknowleges that politics have always been a part of the appointment process:

Previous appointments, God knows, had been political -- (example: Michel Bastarache, Liberal strategist and co-chairman of the Yes campaign in the Charlottetown referendum) -- even without taking into account the ferocious backroom lobbying that has traditionally attended these affairs. And certainly ideological considerations have never been far from any prime minister's mind as he hovered over the list of candidates. The notion, implicit in Chief Justice McLachlin's remark, that hitherto the court had been free of such taint could only be sustained by an immense effort of will. But ideology until now has been more or less taken for granted: It was expected that any appointee would subscribe to the approved pieties and the expansive view of the state's role that has come to dominate the law schools and the courts in recent decades. The vetting process was to screen for any outriders who might threaten the liberal consensus.

How the Star can delude itself into thinking the Liberals have "conceded too much to the Conservative campaign for 'accountability'" is beyond me. The nominees don't appear before the committee. The committee can't veto the PM's decision. This is too far down the road of 'accountability'?

Babble off.

Update: Note to self: always read Paul Wells before posting.


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