Is the judge eligible?
Prime Minister Stephen Harper put his foot into it when he appointed a judge of the Federal Court of Appeal to represent Quebec as the ninth judge of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Marc Nadon is an excellent judge, an expert in maritime law. He knows the law. He is also a Quebecker, a law graduate from the Université de Sherbrooke.
The problem is that the Federal Court is not a Québec Court, and the post open at the Supreme Court is reserved for a judge from a Quebec Court or for a lawyer of the Quebec Bar. The appointment is needed to fill one of the three seats reserved on the Supreme Court for Quebec.
A Toronto lawyer is already challenging Nadon's appointment on these grounds.
Why would Harper have not checked with Quebec Court or even with the Quebec Bar Association before making the appointment? It is not as if there aren’t any judges or lawyers to consult in Quebec.
Marc Nadon , who has a great respect for the law , decided on his own to withdraw from the Supreme Court temporarily while they decide what to do with him.
Meanwhile Judge Marc Nadon receives a full salary of $ 342 800 a year for doing nothing.
It is shameful! It's even worse, though.
There has to be an odd number of judges on the bench of the Supreme Court to avoid four against four judgments. So they will have to reduce the number of judges down to seven judges as long as they are waiting to find out whether Nadon will join the bench or not. .
That means another fully paid judge will be just sitting around...
Harper announced quietly last week that he’s come up with another bright idea that would allow Judge Nadon to sit on the Supreme Court. Harper slipped a clause into his government’s Budget implementation legislation.
The clause would allow a judge of the Federal Court to serve on the Supreme Court to represent Quebec.
Pure Harper bailing wire thinking! What do the rules for a judicial appointment have to do with a federal budget?
But this week it got worse. The new justice minister Peter MacKay announced he’ll make a reference to the Supreme Court on the issue.
That’s it. Let the current Supreme Court judges decide if Nadon is eligible to sit on the bench as one of them.
The Supreme Court could take two years to decide that on the basis of law.
Now Harper, at the request of Quebec, has asked the other Supreme Court judges if they want Nadon to sit with them.
Talk about promoting collegiality on the bench.
It's getting crazier all the time in Ottawa.
Welcome to Ottawa Your Honor!