When U.S. Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in September 2020, the left wing fell into convulsions of grief and anxiety.
It grieved that it had lost the support of a woman who, without exception, handed down judgements that supported the feminist ideology as well as its left wing agenda. Many, however, were angered that she had failed to retire earlier from the court when Barak Obama was still President. This would have permitted Obama to appoint her replacement in order to preserve Ginsburg’s left wing legacy. Instead, her replacement to the court fell to President Donald Trump just two months prior to the 2020 presidential election. Trump appointed Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the court. She is the polar opposite of Ginsburg, both in values and in judicial behaviour.
Ginsburg had admitted that the opinion about Roe vs Wade (which legalized abortion on demand) was a mistake – not because it led to the deaths of 61 million unborn babies, but, rather, because she believed the decision was written in a way that galvanized, rather than gutted, the pro-life movement. That is, she regretted that Roe vs Wade had inadvertently led to the growth, influence, and effectiveness of the pro-life movement. She also admitted many times that the origins of her decisions on both contraception and abortion were rooted in eugenic racism, telling the New York Times, in July, 2009, “Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want too many of.” This statement displayed a callous, insensitive attitude regarding the humanity and value of human life.
Significantly, Ginsburg, in her early career, decades before her appointment to the Supreme Court in 1993, had authored a report urging Congress to abolish Mother’s Day and Father’s Day for the same reason she would later berate the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, in that they perpetuated (biblically grounded) sex-based distinctions.
Ginsburg’s Unchecked Judicial Activism
No one has publicly stated the truth about Ginsburg, that she was a social engineer, using her position as a judge to change the social order in ways that she personally believed were in the best interest of society. She did so despite her obligation as a judge to only interpret the law, as passed by the legislature, not to remake the law to her own liking. She remained, during her long tenure on the court, indifferent to the historic role of the judiciary, and to the division of responsibility that separated the executive and legislative branches of government. In short, she was an arrogant judge who used her position on the court to her personal advantage in order to promote her own beliefs.
Canadian Judges Are Also Judicial Activists
Judge Ginsburg’s behaviour on the U.S. Supreme Court is similar to that of far too many Canadian judges – especially those on the Supreme Court of Canada. These nine judges have incorrectly assumed the role of Parliament, which is to determine public policy. These judges are contemptuous of their proper role and also of the Canadian public. Their elitism is based on nothing more than judicial arrogance – a mistaken belief that somehow judges are superior to the public, know what is best, and that this justifies their changing Canada’s social, political, and cultural values as they see fit. This raises the question whether these nine appointed, unaccountable individuals should be permitted to continue to make decisions on public policy without the consent of the public. Although this may satisfy their own self-regard, it does nothing for democracy.
The Arrogance of the Supreme Court of Canada Judges
Canada certainly has not been spared the overbearing and egotistic behaviour exhibited by U.S. Justice Bader Ginsburg.
Consider the following:
- Rosalie Abella
The egotism of Rosalie Abella is apparent in both her public speeches and judgements. She displayed her extraordinary misunderstanding of the role of a judge in a bizarre speech she gave in Toronto at Osgoode Hall in April 2000. She stated: “The judiciary has a different relationship with the public. It is accountable less to the public’s opinion and more to the public interest.”
Who is she to determine what is in the public’s interest? That’s not her job. It is the job of Parliament. She has the mistaken notion that her insight and understanding are superior to that of the public. This is unacceptable in a democracy.
- Beverley McLachlin
In November 30, 2006, McLachlin gave a speech in Wellington, New Zealand, in which she asserted that judges may render their opinions based on “unwritten” constitutional norms, even in the face of clearly enacted laws or hostile public opinion (emphasis ours). She defined unwritten norms as those “essential to a nation’s history, identity, values and legal systems.” McLachlin concluded such norms were properly understood and interpreted by appointed judges who had been given a legitimate role in determining “unwritten” law because judges have a “judicial conscience” which is founded on the judges’ “sworn commitment to uphold the rule of law”. At the time of making this arrogant speech, McLachlin had full knowledge that judges’ consciences in many instances were based on their own personal preferences or choices, rather than on legal principle or established law.
Judges are not seers or oracles acquiring special insight upon their appointment to the Bench, as McLachlin clearly believes.
Justice Beverley McLachlin also freely publicly admitted that she was usurping the role of Parliament when she stated,
My job is simply to listen to what the parties have to say … to think about what’s best for Canadian society on this particular problem that’s before us, and give it my best judgement after listening to also, my eight other colleagues. (National Post May 23, 2015)
Who is she to determine “what is best for Canadian society”? Why does she think she is superior? How does the legal merit of a case before her fit into her grandiose opinion of herself as judge? Not much, apparently.
- Chief Justice Richard Wagner
The present Chief Justice of Canada, Richard Wagner, also appears to be of the same mindset as McLachlin and Abella when he stated that he was “proud” that the Supreme Court of Canada was the most “progressive” in the world. (Toronto Star, June 22, 2018)
Who is he to make the court a “progressive” one, instead of providing an objective analysis of law precedent and respect for the legislature’s decisions? He too misunderstands his role of judge. He deliberately has chosen to ignore it in order to provide the court with political power. Under what authority do these imperious judges, McLachlin, Wagner, and Abella and their colleagues on the court, have the right to determine what is “best for society”, and “public morals”?