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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has nominated Justice Malcolm Rowe of Newfoundland and Labrador, shown in this undated handout image from Action Canada, for the Supreme Court of Canada. (HO/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has nominated Justice Malcolm Rowe of Newfoundland and Labrador, shown in this undated handout image from Action Canada, for the Supreme Court of Canada. (HO/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Politics briefing

Rare insight into the thoughts of Trudeau’s first Supreme Court pick Add to ...

POLITICS BRIEFING

By Chris Hannay (@channay) and Rob Gilroy (@rgilroy)

The Globe Politics is pleased to include a roundup of news and opinion on U.S. politics, through until this year’s election in November. As always, let us know what you think of the newsletter. Sign up here to get it by e-mail each morning.

THE NEW JUSTICE, IN HIS OWN WORDS

Justin Trudeau has appointed his first judge to the Supreme Court. Malcolm Rowe is the court’s first justice from Newfoundland and Labrador and the first to go through a new appointment process that seeks to be more transparent. To that end, the Liberals have made public many of Justice Rowe’s answers to a questionnaire he filled out for his appointment. The answers give a detailed account of the judge’s experience, and insight into how Justice Rowe views the court’s rule in shaping, and not just applying, law.

Here is an excerpt on his views of the role of the Supreme Court:

"The Supreme Court maintains and develops the structure of law in Canada. Stability and predictability are important to maintain that structure. But, adaptation to changes in society, including changes in shared goals, is critical to the law's development. It is important to operate from first principles, while also considering practical results. It is no less important to eschew ideological positions. Should the Court lead or mirror a shared sense of justice? The answer is, of course, both. Generally, it should lead when the time is ripe to do so, having regard to the needs and aspirations of Canadians."

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW IN OTTAWA

> Federal and provincial health ministers continue to meet in Toronto, where Jane Philpott is warning the transfer system needs major reforms.

> The Prime Minister is meeting today with the China Entrepreneur Club.

> How Canada is assisting the Battle of Mosul.

> European Union governments are set to fail to approve the Canada-EU free trade deal because of regional opposition in Belgium.

> Quebec is once again heading into a debate about religion and minorities with a bill that would effectively bar some Muslim women from receiving government services.

> And the Transportation Safety Board says its investigation into the plane crash that killed Jim Prentice is proceeding slowly, and the agency is reiterating a call to require small aircraft to have flight data recorders.

U.S. ELECTION 2016

> The end of Trumpworld: In The Globe and Mail, Margaret Wente says good riddance to the world that celebrates the likes of Donald Trump. “If there is anything that can be plucked from the sewage, it’s the knowledge that men who treat women badly are now automatically disqualified from high office. It’s about time.”

> Putin and the press: At Vox.com, Zach Beauchamp explains how Vladimir Putin wins every time WikiLeaks publishes a batch of hacked documents, in this case the DNC and John Podesta e-mails. “This is how Russia gets us. Once WikiLeaks publishes a trove of newsworthy e-mails, the press is stuck in a corner: Doing its job will help a hostile foreign power manipulate the American election and arguably even help weaken faith in the press itself.”

> The art of the concession: In The New York Times, Frank Bruni says conceding an election is every bit as important as winning it – something Donald Trump fails to understand. “Rising. Healing. Linking arms. Moving on. That’s what’s supposed to happen in the aftermath of even the bitterest elections. … May the loser in this election uphold that tradition. So very much rides on it.”

> The myth of voter fraud: Vox.com says Donald Trump’s accusations about voter fraud are based on a lie – and has the numbers to back it up. “Voter fraud is incredibly rare, and it doesn’t swing national elections. Worries about it should never lead to Americans silencing fellow voters on Election Day.”

> The party of rage: Jamelle Bouie at Slate.com says Donald Trump’s seeming determination to drive Latino voters from the GOP is a new “point of no return” for a party that “doesn’t have the diversity it needs to resist white resentment and white rage. … Raw ethnonationalism is their future, even if they don’t want it.”

> No data, no democracy: Catherine Rampell of The Washington Post wonders if democracy can survive when facts no longer matter. “This paranoid anti-evidence trend long predates the current election, of course. … This is how a democracy crumbles: not with a bang, but with data trutherism.”

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Justine Hunter (Globe and Mail): “More than a year after the federal Liberals won, having promised significant legislative reforms aimed at recognizing and respecting aboriginal title and rights, the lack of progress is brewing frustration. Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, a former regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations, faces a significant task to bring Canada’s laws into line with her government’s commitments – and her people’s expectations.”

Globe and Mail editorial board: “The Trudeau government’s initial impulse [in appointing a Supreme Court judge] was to play identity politics, and to use an appointment of tremendous power and significance for the sake of its political needs. In the end, however, they tapped someone whose sole qualifications are, well, his qualifications. He may not be much of a first, except perhaps as a first-class jurist – which is what should matter to Canadians.”

Nik Nanos (Globe and Mail): “The lesson here is that lies can persuade voters and liars can win. Perhaps that is the most unfair lesson of today’s state of political discourse.” (for subscribers)

Steve Paikin (TVO): “Where is the agenda around which traditional New Democrats and potentially new supporters can unite? There are plenty of people in our country who feel underrepresented: students carrying deep debt, new immigrants and refugees and the precariously employed. These are perfect demographic groups for the NDP to champion if they’re content being the conscience of the House. The trouble is, many of those people don’t vote, at least not in numbers commensurate with their percentage of the population. So if the NDP is looking to these groups to be part of a future governing coalition, it's not clear this will boost the party's influence in the House.”

Chantal Hébert (Toronto Star): “If anything, the refusal of many proponents of Canada’s approach to cultural diversity to argue for it on its merits only weakens their case. One cannot simultaneously set Canada up as a model to the world and refuse to defend the country’s approach to cultural diversity at home for fear of shattering the societal consensus that sustains it.”

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