Monday, February 12, 2007

Judgment Calls

Horror of horrors!

The Globe and Mail is shocked, SHOCKED, that people with ties to the Conservative Party are now helping decide who gets appointed to the judiciary!

What's worse, even some honest-to-Gaia social conservatives are being appointed to these advisory boards as well!

The Conservative government has loaded the committees that determine who can become a judge, selecting a series of Tories including former politicians, aides to ministers, riding association officials and defeated candidates.

The influential but little-known judicial advisory committees were created in 1988 to take partisan politics out of the appointment of judges. But half -- at least 16 out of 33 -- of the people chosen by the federal justice minister as his nominees are conservative partisans, a review by The Globe and Mail has found.

And many of the non-partisans chosen by Ottawa seem to share Prime Minister Stephen Harper's oft-expressed desire to change the face of Canada's judiciary -- which he has described as a group that holds a liberal bias, oversteps its role to make social policy, and is too soft on crime.


The non-partisans include Rob Martin, a former University of Western Ontario law professor who argues the courts have veered from the law to impose their social preferences on issues such as abortion, assisted suicide and homosexuality.


Jude Gosselin, a 27-year-old social studies teacher appointed to Manitoba's judicial advisory committee, said he thinks he was chosen because of his social views, not because he is on the executive of the Conservative riding association in Saint Boniface.

Mr. Gosselin, the former youth pastoral co-ordinator for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Boniface, said he was approached by a friend who worked for Mr. Toews, then the justice minister, probably because they wanted someone with "a more traditional way of looking at things."

"It's been argued by many that sometimes the judiciary seems to be possibly moving into the legislative responsibility, interpreting laws beyond what they were meant to be interpreted," he said.

Although many have spoken of a judicial conspiracy to undermine Canadian society, the reality is that the judges haven't had to conspire in their social engineering. They've all gone to the same law schools, sat on all the same law society and bar association committees, joined all the right organizations as lawyers, and therefore have almost all to a man come to share the same world view.

What's threatening to the modern-day Family Compact is that the so-cons and advocates of traditional judicial restraint have figured out how the soc-libs on the bench did it, and are using their own methods against them.

Just consider the hysteria that surrounded the appointment of David Brown to the Superior Court in Ontario--one judge as far from the mould of social liberalism as can be imagined--just one judge.

Expect the same people who once defended the entire closed-door process of judicial appointment to demand that Parliament start vetting potential judges for their ideological reliability.

1 comment:

Robert McClelland said...

You do realize this door swings both ways, don't you? Now that Harper has opened up Pandora's box by politicizing the courts it means the left will start playing this game too. And if you thought the courts were left leaning before, you'll be wailing over how left they're going to get because of it.