Feds may try again to get Marc Nadon on Supreme Court

Marc Nadon is pictured in Ottawa in this October 2, 2013 file photo. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

Marc Nadon is pictured in Ottawa in this October 2, 2013 file photo. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

Jessica Hume, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 6:23 PM ET

OTTAWA - The government hinted Monday it isn't finished trying to get rejected Judge Marc Nadon a seat on the Supreme Court.

After Friday's 6-1 ruling from the Supreme Court, widely seen as an embarrassment for Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government, Justice Minister Peter MacKay tried to refocus the issue in the House of Commons on Monday.

"There was broad consultation with this process," MacKay said in question period. "We also sought information from retired Supreme Court justices and a constitutional expert.

"We will examine the decision from the Supreme Court as we continue to move forward in the process to appoint and see that the Supreme Court has a full complement of judges."

Nadon, a member of federal court of appeal, was nominated by Harper last fall to sit as one of three judges appointed to represent Quebec on the country's highest court.

That nomination was challenged almost immediately on the basis that Nadon didn't meet requirements - specifically, that he wasn't a member of the Quebec bar at the time of his appointment.

"The judgment of the court is clear: the Prime Minister appointed someone who was not eligible and amended the law unilaterally and illegally," Mulcair said in question period.

Mulcair asked MacKay whether the government would accept the court's ruling or would it try to "circumvent" the rules to get what it wants.

Though the ruling cannot be appealed, it left open a significant loophole.

If Nadon were to resign his federal court of appeal post and join the Quebec bar for even one day, he would be eligible to sit on the Supreme Court bench.

In Mulcair's assessment, the court "rebuked" not just Harper, but his "methods" of parliamentary business.

"The Nadon fiasco is just one example of a long list where the Conservatives refuse to follow the rules, consult the provinces or work with the opposition," Mulcair said in French.


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