I wake early. This morning was no different, except this morning I woke to the news of the long-awaited and speculated upon appointments (actually nominations) of the Supreme Court of Canada (or SCC - another acronym).
I was on the whole relieved and pleased. Although I do not know Madame Justice Karakatsanis, I do know Mr. Justice Michael Moldaver. He will be an asset to the Court. He is smart, hard-working, and humorous. He has experience as both a trial judge and an appeal judge. He has written judgments in all areas of the law, including criminal law.
He is an oft-quoted judge, even as a trial judge in the superior court. His reasoning tends to be impeccable. Even when he is in the minority on an issue, Moldaver deserves and receives respect. In the SCC Find decision on challenges for cause based on the partiality of potential jurors in a sexual assault against children trial, Moldaver's dissent formed the basis of the accused's appeal. Althought the SCC did not agree with Moldaver's outcome, it is clear that his reasons gave the Court pause for thought and helped illuminate the issues. As the Chief Justice stated:
As Moldaver eloquently observed in Betker, supra, at p. 447, "the test for partiality is not whether one seeks to change the law but whether one is capable of upholding the law...
I, for one, will look forward to the change.