McLachlin & Morgentaler

As chair of the appointments committee, Chief Justice Bev McLachlin voted neither for nor against Dr. Henry Morgentaler’s appointment to the Order of Canada:

Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin moved to stifle controversy over her role in awarding the Order of Canada to abortionist Henry Morgentaler today, saying she purposely did not cast a vote at a committee meeting where his name was proposed as a recipient.

Chief Justice McLachlin told reporters at the Canadian Bar Association’s annual convention that her critics mistakenly believe she took a position in favour of Dr. Morgentaler receiving the award.

“There has been a lot of misinformation on this issue,” she said. “Some idea was put out by I don’t know who – a rumour or some source – that the chair leads the discussion. That is just not the case. My view is I’m there to ensure that the meeting runs well and fairly, and that the vote is taken fairly – not to weigh in in favour or against a particular candidate.”

Chief Justice McLachlin was recently targeted in an anonymous complaint to the Canadian Judicial Council about her conduct in the Morgentaler decision. However, she said today that she is required by law to chair the Order of Canada nomination committee. “It’s not something I chose to do,” she said.

Speaking at a press conference, Chief Justice McLachlin said that her policy has always been to refrain from voting on Order of Canada nominees. “I feel reasonably comfortable about the process, doing it the way I have outlined that I do it and not getting involved in voting for a particular candidate or advocating for a particular candidate,” she said.

“I made a personal policy decision that I would not weigh in for or against a particular name … and that is the way I have always proceeded,” she said. “In fact, I do not vote except I reserve the right to vote in the rare case of a tie. … I’m told that I voted once to break a tie. I don’t have a recollection of that. My recollection is that I have never voted.”

Within moments of her declaration, Manitoba Chief Justice Richard Scott – chair of the Canadian Judicial Council’s disciplinary committee – said that the chief justice’s defence will likely derail the misconduct complaint.

“Based on the explanation that [Chief Justice] McLachlin gave us today – what she explained her role as – it is not likely to be viewed as judicial misconduct,” he said.

“As the Chief Justice said, from day one, the chief justice has chaired the Order of Canada,” Chief Justice Scott added. “In light of the role that she has assigned to herself, I’d be surprised if many people would have a problem with the way that she carries out that particular role.”

No matter how the anti-choicers wail, moan, groan and freep the polls, no one can seem to undermine the process effectively.  That’s because it was a fair process and represented the wishes of a sizeable number of Canadians.  I don’t agree with every appointment to the Order either.  And an anonymous complaint?  How courageous!

Shut up!

UPDATE:  Check out the comment if you’re in the mood for a laugh at the expense of someone who likes to drop trash. 

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2 thoughts on “McLachlin & Morgentaler

  1. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080816.wmclachlin0816/BNStory/National/home

    ===Top judge didn’t vote in Morgentaler decision===

    You have read that article in order to realise the madness of it all: in response to “an anonymous complaint” to the Canadian Judicial Council about her conduct Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin claims that she didn’t vote in Morgentaler decision.

    In the eyes of Globe and Mail editors complaint presented by 42 organisations representing over a million people constitute “an anonymous complaint”.

    The Actual vote by Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin is mentioned only in point seven of the complaint. Other issues relate to her decisions as the Chair of Nominating Committee of the Order of Canada. Is she going to deny her decisions as a Chair?? She already claims that she was forced to preside over that fiasco.

    Her claim that she was forced by legislation to sit as a Chair does speak well of her character as well, by law she stands second in line to act as the Prime Minister of Canada in case PM Stephan Harper falls sick, or dies. If that ever happens and she messes it all up as bad as she messed up on Morgentaler file is she going to offer us yet another “poor woman’s excuse” for her nonperformance??

    The best part of the latest pronouncements was offered by Chief Justice Scott Chair of the Disciplinary Committee of the Canadian Judicial Council who said, “The bottom line is, if it’s not about misconduct, the complaint is going to be dismissed without asking the judge involved to comment.”

    This “magic distinction” that CJC keep on making between “judicial decisions” and “judicial conduct” is about to crash and burn while hitting the reality of this complaint.

    This “ultimate excuse” that CJC keeps on using in order to refuse looking at the stupid judicial decisions that Canadians keep on complaining about is that such “judicial decisions” could and should be appealed to a court of higher jurisdiction regardless of the time lost and the cost of such “remedies”.

    This excuse of the so called “ultimate remedy” is not going to work in this particular case.

    Since we are taking about Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin’s decisions as a Chair of Order of Canada Nominating Committee, the only appeal that anybody could ever make, as there is no higher court in this land, would ultimately be to the Supreme Court of Canada where Beverly McLachlin is acting as a Chief Justice. That being the case it is not possible to have her decisions, however stupid they appear to have been, overturned by anybody else but herself.

    If we are talking about checks and balances in performance of various branches of Canadian government, no matter how we slice it, Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin has to step down in order to have this; “anonymous complaint”, filed by 42 organisations acting on behalf of over a million people living in Canada, properly resolved.

  2. “You have read this article in order to realize the madness of it all…”

    Yes, your madness and the madness of people like you karol.

    There are not 42 organizations representing a million Canadians who made this complaint – see Buckets here: http://bouquetsofgray.blogspot.com/, who has it down to 28 organizations now and likely it will go down further.

    I really can’t be bothered to deal with the rest of your comment since you don’t know anything about the constitutional division of powers in Canada and you don’t even seem to know who the Chief Justice is.

    This is your first and last comment here. FUCK OFF!

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