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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Scalia Lite 

Well, Harper just couldn't keep his inner "Refooorrrm" quiet any longer -- its been two months since he could actually say what he thought, and the real Harper just had to break loose.
Here was today's Globe and Mail headline, above the fold: Harper warns of activist judges.
. . ."I am merely pointing out a fact that courts, for the most part, have been appointed by another political party. But courts are supposed to be independent regardless of who appoints them and they are an independent check and balance," he said. When one reporter asked if he believed judges are activists with their own social agenda, Mr. Harper replied: "Some are, some aren't." . . . Mr. Harper's former Reform and Canadian Alliance allies have cried loudly about judicial activism, with many complaining that liberal judges have imposed such things as same-sex marriage upon an unwilling populace.
Liberal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler responded with a scathing attack on Mr. Harper, arguing that his opinions are unfit for a man who aspires to lead the country. "To me, [it] is irresponsible for a political leader to be impugning the independence and the integrity of the very institutions he should be protecting," he said. "We need someone who will respect the rule of law, who will respect the independence of the judiciary." Mr. Cotler said that the suggestion judges are Liberal-biased demeans and insults the judicial system. And he defended his own judicial appointments, saying they have been scrupulously apolitical.
In 2003, after courts in British Columbia and Ontario recognized the legality of same-sex unions, Mr. Harper, who was then the leader of the Canadian Alliance, accused former prime minister Jean Chr├ętien of stacking the courts with sympathetic judges for that very purpose.
"They didn't want to come to Parliament, they didn't want to go to the Canadian people and be honest that this is what they wanted," he said at that time of the Liberals. "They had the courts do it for them; they put the judges in they wanted, then they failed to appeal, failed to fight the case in court."
. . . Mr. Harper says there is a particular type of person who would get those jobs if he were prime minister. "What we will be looking for is what I call the judicial temperament," he told reporters. "And that is the ability to competently and shrewdly and wisely apply the laws that are passed by the Parliament of Canada."
Sounds like the Conservatives will be looking for men like Antonin Scalia.
Oh, Myrtle, we're in trouble now...

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