Earlier this month Canada, with a lot of help from Saskatchewan, elected a Conservative government. While some Conservative voters probably made their choice based on the (contrary-to-all-the-evidence) belief that Stephen Harper’s party are prudent fiscal conservatives (BWAH HA HA HA HA HA), others no doubt cast their ballots intending to punish the left and other supporters of civil liberties.
(Oh, and thanks for that! You sure taught us a lesson!)
There’s a great feature in today’s Globe And Mail that looks at the possible beginning of the Great Con Smackdown–Stephen Harper’s opportunity to appoint two conservative Supreme Court judges. Snip:
Mr. Harper had already stood to replace four judges whose mandatory retirement dates span his term as prime minister – Judge Binnie, Mr. Justice Morris Fish, Mr. Justice Louis LeBel and Mr. Justice Marshall Rothstein. Legal experts now believe Mr. Harper will use his choices to usher in a decades-long course of conservative Charter of Rights rulings and low-key deference to Parliament. That prospect is sure to delight those who view activist judges as anathema and the Charter with suspicion. At the same time, it conjures up a potential nightmare for the political left and civil libertarians who look to the Supreme Court to strike down laws that offend the Charter and to safeguard the rights of the accused.
Would we have gay marriage in Canada if someone with the conservative views of Stephen Harper had been appointing judges? That’s one important area where the Supreme Court has been especially active. What about abortion rights? Would we have those?
This is a mandatory read that sets up a topic that will loom over the news for the next few months. In fact, it puts the Tory in mandatory. Yuk! Please skim it, at the very least.