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Family Groups Call for Prime Minister to Restore Democracy by Appointing Strict Constructionist Supreme Court Judges

Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin is a well respected leader in Canada. Her father Ernest Gietz, was a tremendous Evangelical Lay Preacher in Alberta. We applaud Ms. McLachlin for her strong conviction and authenticity in presenting today’s judicial philosophy but good people can differ and debate. With seven out of nine Supreme Court Justices eligible to retire, it is critical that the process to replace them, be wholly transparent.

Recently we were mortified to hear Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin say, as reported in the Times of India, "The process of selection and the reason for recommending or not a name for judgeship can never be disclosed. Judges selection is entirely confidential.”

The Supreme Court is the cornerstone of a healthy democracy. Canadians must have confidence in our highest court. Ms. McLachlin’s philosophy, as set out on the Supreme Court website, uses divine terms to describe a judge saying “He is respected and revered. His word is, literally and figuratively, the law, eternal, majestic.” She goes on to explain that our court is led by “unwritten constitutional principles”. The divine right to rule is ancient history.

Our forefathers fought valiantly to wrestle legislative power away from individuals and place it in the protective hands of democratically elected representatives. Today this has partially been reversed as our Chief Justice declares that “there is little point decrying the fact that judges make law, they do and they must.” She goes on to explain “the lawmaking role of the judge has dramatically expanded. Judicial lawmaking is no longer always confined to small, incremental changes. Increasingly, it is invading the domain of social policy, once perceived as the exclusive right of Parliament and the legislatures.”

Leaders from various family focused groups with over 100,000 active members are calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to begin an open process that will result in the appointment of strict constructionist judges who will, in the words of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor, have “fidelity to the law. Judges do not write the law, they interpret the law”.

Brian Rushfeldt , Executive Director of Canada Family Action says “Judicial lawmaking is antithetical to democracy. When one judge in one case can over-write a duly passed law it is not much different than having a dictator run a country”  The President of Canada Christian College, Dr. Charles McVety says “This is the most important issue of our time. Out-of-control lawmaking judges have legalized two types of child pornography, reduced the age of consent for anal sex to 14 and redefined marriage. As part of a campaign to inform Canadians the importance of Supreme Court appointments, we have produced the full feature documentary film “Besieged, Democracy Under Attack”. Viewers can watch Canada’s Chief Justice articulate the current judicial lawmaking philosophy and judge for themselves.”