Wednesday, October 16, 2013

It's a tea party ..... and a mad one at that!

Good Day Readers:

When you look at the confirmation process for Canada's Supreme Court Justices versus that of their American counterparts it's a mad hatter's tea party versus a barbecue. Here's why.

Thank goodness for Rocco Galati!
CyberSmokeBlog's hero!

Clare L. Pieuk
New Supreme Court judge prepares for vetting

All-party committee has just two days to prepare for Marc Nadon's hearing, but can't reject nominee

By Sean Fine - Justice Reporter
Wednesday, October 2, 2013

With just two days to learn everything they can about the newest Supreme Court judge, the members of the all-party committee that will grill Justice Marc Nadon on Wednesday don't have much time to assess where he stands and how he thinks.

Liberal MP Irwin Cotler, a member of the committee, said he is trying to read judgments by Justice Nadon in areas in which Mr. Cotler has some familiarity. He did not wish to tip his hand by saying which ones, but Justice Nadon wrote important judgments related to Canadian terrorist Omar Khadr and Rwandan war criminal Leon Mugesera that fall smack in the centre of Mr. Cotler's interests.

"We could have used more time," the former Liberal justice minister said. "This is, such as it is. We have to deal with the time we have."

Two days have been the norm between the announcement of a new judge and the hearing on Prime Minister Stephen Harper's watch. All three previous hearings under Mr. Harper have featured the same two-day preparation period.

In the United States, the Senate Judiciary Committee has four to six weeks to prepare for a hearing. The hearings last two to five days. Justice Nadon's hearing is scheduled to last three hours. The Canadian committee has no power to reject the Prime Minister's nominee. (emphasis ours)

Kathleen Mahoney, a law professor at the University of Calgary, called the hearings "window dressing."

"How do you possibly prepare in such a short period of time?" she said. "I don't know who this fellow is and I'm sure most people don't. I'm just Googling him right now."

David Schneiderman, a University of Toronto law professor, said a longer process would be a chance to "see if people had views about the quality of this appointment."

"How do you possibly prepare in such a short period of time? I don't know who this fellow is and I'm sure most people don't. I'm just Googling him right now." Kathleen Mahoney, Law Professor University of Calgary.

The nationally televised hearings, which begin at 1 p.m. give Canadians an opportunity to gain insight into the new judge. The 64-year old from Saint Jerome, Quebec has spent the past 20 years on the Federal Court's trial and appeal divisions. Two years ago he chose supernumerary status, which means he has been a part-time judge.

Mr. Harper created the first nomination hearing for the 2008 appointment of Marshall Rothstein of Manitoba. Memorably, Justice Rothstein said he was "panic-stricken" beforehand. Afterward, he told a group of law students that the "genie was out of the bottle," and the new transparency was here to stay.


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