De We Now Have A Political Supreme Court?

“Now the Supreme Court has gone political it’s essential to hold Parliamentary hearings as in the US about every appointment” says Austin Mitchell immediately after the decision. 

And “Labour MPs should leave Brighton immediately and occupy the chamber”. 

Not surprisingly the Supreme Court is under close scrutiny after its unanimous decision against the people, because it IS the people who have no rights against the establishment. Money talks. John Major (in)famously prorogued Parliament in order to prevent a report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards on the cash-for-questions scandal from being tabled before the 1997 general election. Was that political or criminal? Well, it was brazen!

Does allowing the courts to police the power of prorogation usurp a function exclusively vested and committed to another branch of the UK government, the Sovereign, acting by convention, under the instructions of her advisers? It is not for the courts to second-guess her considered judgement in accepting advice to prorogue. But the Supreme Court has just done it.

The Constitutional Law Group writes about various cases of Commonwealth prorogations, and now says “Oh, if only the loyal opposition, in all these cases, had known they could enlist the courts in correcting their political losses for them. What chumps!”.

Meanwhile we have to consider what comes next. Vernon Bodganor, before a Parliamentary Committee, suggested that a wise constitutional monarch would not automatically prorogue Parliament if she felt her Prime Minister could no longer command the confidence of the House of Commons. Politically fraught questions can now simply be outsourced to the judiciary. The Sovereign can always be told “Fear not, this lengthy prorogation of 7 months is really for the courts, not you, to worry about. That is for the judges, not you, to judge”.

So, we have a bent House of Commons, a bent House of Lords, and now seemingly a bent Supreme Court. Well, “given we are in the world of hypotheticals, what if a Prime Minister just advises the Crown to prorogue Parliament again shortly after any adverse ruling? Parliament is again prorogued, and we start an endless ping-pong between the Prime Minister and the courts?”. If it takes us until November 2019 I for one won’t be bothered!

 

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