Conservatives won’t rule out another attempt to reappoint Nadon

The Conservative government is refusing to close the door to reappointing Justice Marc Nadon to the Supreme Court of Canada, a move that would pit the government against the country’s top judges.

On Friday, the Supreme Court resoundingly rejected Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s choice of the 64-year-old, semi-retired judge for one of its three Quebec seats. Mr. Harper had asked the court for an advisory opinion after the appointment was challenged in October, first by Toronto lawyer Rocco Galati, and then by the Quebec National Assembly.


“It’s up to Justice Nadon. He has a great job at the Federal Court of Appeal. He has a choice between seeing out his career there or continuing the circus that this may become.”

The Supreme Court ruled 6-1 that he is not eligible because he lacks current standing before the Quebec bar, or membership on a senior Quebec court, as required by the Supreme Court Act. The principle of special rules for Quebec appointments is so important it has the protection of the Canadian Constitution, and cannot be changed without unanimous consent, the court said.

In two statements since then, one from the Prime Minister’s Office on Friday, and one from the parliamentary secretary to the Justice Minister on Sunday, the government suggested that finding a quick way to make Justice Nadon eligible for the Supreme Court is a possibility.

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This content has been updated on August 23, 2014 at 12:19.