One of Canada's great legal minds doesn't buy Harpo's plan to stack Canadian courts with judges of his ideological bent or the process he wants to use to go about it.
Former SCC Chief Justice Antonio Lamer says if Harper wants tougher criminal sentencing, he should change the criminal law, not stack the bench.
He's particularly critical of Harpo's brainwave about adding cops and lay people to the panels that vet judicial candidates. Pointing out the obvious, he told the National Post:
"'Mrs. Smith who is on the board doesn't know what the court is about. What she knows she probably got off American TV and thinks that judges use hammers.'
"Lamer said judges should be screening judicial candidates seeking promotions and lawyers should be vetting other lawyers who want to sit on the bench because they are the ones who know what the job is about. 'If I were on a selection committee to pick the head of neurosurgery, I wouldn't know anything,' he said, by way of comparison.
The reality is that Harper doesn't understand that judicial independence and judicial integrity are interdependent - or maybe he just doesn't care how he molests one of the cornerstones of Canadian democracy.