Apparently Canada’s “Supreme Court Act” mandates that three Justices must be from Quebec

October 18th, 2013

And the Quebec government is suing to challenge the appointment of Marc Nadon, who has not lived in Quebec for long:

The Quebec government says it will challenge the appointment of Justice Marc Nadon to the Supreme Court of Canada, in what legal scholars say appears to be a first in the court’s 138-year history.

“It is certain we will make sure Quebec’s voice is heard on the Supreme Court,” Alexandre Cloutier, the province’s Intergovernmental Affairs Minister, said Thursday. “We have the right to three judges and will demand it.”

He expressed concern that a media report said Justice Nadon has not lived in Quebec for a long time. The Supreme Court Act mandates that three judges from the province sit on the court, but contains no residency requirement for Quebec nominees. Justice Nadon practised law with a Montreal firm for 20 years before joining the Federal Court in 1993.
And the Canadian Supreme Court may be called upon to decide if their new colleague should be seated.
Separately from the province’s challenge, the Barreau du Québec, representing 24,500 lawyers, urged the federal government to expedite matters by asking the Supreme Court of Canada to rule on whether the appointment is allowed under the Supreme Court Act.
If the U.S. Supreme Court adopts any geographic quotas, I would propose that we need a Justice from Staten Island. Why should that be the only borough left out? Justice Kagan agrees“We’re waiting for that Staten Island judge.”