After the Supreme Court denied Marc Nadon a seat on the Supreme Court, the Prime Minister has been doing some backtracking on his nomination processes. That is, after the Conservatives said they wouldn’t rule out challenging the Court further, and after heated words were exchanged between the Chief Justice and Prime Minister. Aside from that, and the various rulings in the past year — that have shot down many of Harper’s goals — the relation between the Court and government have been great.
As a Supreme Court seat from Quebec remains vacant, Prime Minister Harper is now approaching Quebec’s new Premier and holy father, Philippe Couillard. Quebec Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée has given the provincial government’s recommendations, and it only features 2 nominees that were on the Prime Minister’s original list of possible candidates. 2 out of 6, not bad. Using the Tim Hudak numerical analysis metric, that’s a pretty damn good rate of accuracy.
Senior officials in Ottawa have made it clear that the final choice will rest with Harper, saying “this will not be a joint nomination.” They have to cheer him up somehow, right? He can be a miniature McLachlin who can accept or deny the nomination requests of others.
When Marc Nadon was announced as the federal government’s official submission to the Supreme Court, the Quebec National Assembly (which was then controlled by the Parti Quebecois) denounced the move. In fact, everyone denounced it. That has been the only thing the Quebec Liberals and PQ could agree on (before the election. Now they both agree that sovereignty is a bad topic to run on).
Another Supreme Court seat will be vacant by the end of the year, again from Quebec. Nadon can give it the old college try. Or Harper could pick Justice Marie-France Bich from the Quebec Court of Appeal, who is a widely respected figure in the province. University of Montreal teacher Jean-François Gaudreault-Desbiens claims he heard “the government could be afraid of such a judge.” A well-educated, respected, and non-ideological judge? Yeah, right. Never going to happen. That’s like trying to get someone on the Supreme Court who isn’t even a part of their province’s law society.