As our colleague Ran Hirschl reported earlier this month, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently filled two vacancies on the Supreme Court of Canada. With those two appointments, four is now the total number of Prime Minister Harper's Supreme Court nominations since he ascended to power in 2006.
A few observations occur to me in light of the changing Canadian political terrain.
First, the Supreme Court now counts a majority of five justices who were chosen by conservative prime ministers. This is new ground for modern Canadian Supreme Court. The Court's last conservative-nominated judicial majority exited until August 2002, when then-Prime Minister Jean Chretien, leader of the Liberal Party, made Marie Deschamps his fifth successful nominee for the Supreme Court.
This new zero in Canadian politics is not necessarily something that Canadians should either fear or invite. It is rather something that comparativists should note as they study the changing institutional interrelationships in Canada among the Government, the Parliament, the judiciary, and the people themselves.