Saturday, February 18, 2006

Supreme vindication

Word finally comes out as to the process that'll be applied in the selection of Canada's next Supreme Court justice. And for all Harper's bluster about the courts, there doesn't seem to be too much reason to think the new choice will be a radical shift from the current justices, as the Cons will work from the list drawn up under the Libs:
Justice Minister Vic Toews will announce on Monday that he will set up an ad hoc committee of parliamentarians and hold a public hearing by the end of the month, a source confirmed.

The prospective judge, to be named from one of the Prairie provinces, will be chosen from a short list of three contenders that was submitted to the former Liberal government just before the election was called in November.

While the new judge will be questioned by a committee, the members will not have veto power, as they do in judicial confirmation hearings in the United States.
Unfortunately, the continuation of the rest of the existing process apparently won't prevent Toews from subjecting the new nominee to partisan questioning. But at the very least, the fact that Toews will choose from the nominees already approved by both the previous Lib government and an all-party committee highlights the fact that the system already places its emphasis on merit rather than partisanship. And that fact should be kept in mind next time Harper decides to complain about the judicial check on governmental power.

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