Boreal

Supreme Court Groupthink Curtails Freedom of Speech

Groupthink: a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an incorrect or deviant decision-making outcome.Wiki

In June 2009, during a speech delivered at the Canadian Bar Association conference in Ottawa marking her tenth year as Chief Justice of Canada, the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin praised groupthink*, boasting about her Court's record of unanimity: “about three-quarters of Supreme Court rulings are unanimous”, she said, “compared to less than half in the U.S. Supreme Court.” How is that a good thing?

Groupthink appears to have been at work again in a 6 - 0 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Saskatchewan (Human Rights Commission) v. Whatcott  which consecrates the power of provincial Human Rights Commissions "to police newspapers, magazines and the Internet for material they consider hate-inducing".

In her a speech, the Right Honourable Chief Justice also expressed the hope that “When people look back, I hope they will see a court of integrity, independence and some modicum of common sense,”

A “modicum of common sense” is about right, but even that small amount seems to have been lacking in the Court’s kirpan decision.

Bernard Payeur