White, Male Lawyers Should Say ‘No’ to Judicial Appointments

David Tanovich, Globe and Mail, February 18, 2015

The latest round of federal judicial appointments in Ontario has further entrenched inequality in our courts and has led me to think about the following provocative question: Should white male lawyers have an ethical duty to say no the next time the federal justice minister comes calling, in order to force systemic change? In my view, the answer is yes.

It is not an understatement to say that we are in the midst of a crisis of representativeness in our federal judiciary.

For example, since 2012, 46 practising lawyers (including three professors) have been appointed to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice or Court of Appeal by Conservative justice ministers. Just over three quarters (78 per cent) of the appointments have been men (36/46). Only one of the appointments appears to be from a racial minority, although an exact number cannot be discerned because of the government’s refusal to collect this necessary information. Things aren’t much better in the other provinces or in the elevation of judges from the provincial to federal courts.

Despite repeated calls by organizations such as the Canadian Bar Association, Indigenous Bar Association, Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, South Asian Bar Association and the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, academics and lawyers for more representativeness in appointments, and thoughtful recommendations to accomplish that end, the government of Stephen Harper refuses to act.


A drastic solution is needed, and one would be to place an ethical obligation on white male lawyers to say no.

Lawyers act in the public interest and we serve as important guardians of the administration of justice and the rule of law. Indeed, lawyers have professional obligations to “encourage public respect for and try to improve the administration of justice.”

Lawyers have responsibilities that distinguish us from others. As our Rules of Professional Conduct exhort, “a lawyer has special responsibilities by virtue of the privileges afforded the legal profession and the important role it plays in a free and democratic society and in the administration of justice, including a special responsibility to recognize the diversity of the Ontario community . . .”

Lawyers also have a professional responsibility to take measures to prevent discrimination. The appointments process is clearly producing discriminatory results by denying opportunities to all equality-seeking groups in Canada.


Sadly, nothing else seems to have a chance of changing the status quo, for it is clear that the Harper government does not care; or worse, it appears to actually want to have a judiciary that reflects the face and ideology of its base.

Lawyers, and in particular, white male lawyers can make a difference on this issue. And so we should.

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  • And hand over their souls, while they’re at it.

  • TomIron361

    White, Male Lawyers
    White men should leave the stinking profession en-mass. But they want a soft touch in life, so they won’t.

    • DaveMed

      I’m inclined to agree in principle, but my practical side thinks that we need to make sure we have our people represented in the legal system. There needs to be some resistance.

      • TomIron361

        The “legal system” is done. All that’s left is the carcass.

  • IstvanIN

    White males should have no representation in the judiciary? This guys sounds “tribe”.

    • NorthernWind

      He is…
      What kind of self-respecting White guy would say such a thing?

      • Bunky

        No doubt.
        He’s a poofster.

      • DaveMed

        Lots of self-loathing, non-Jewish Whites out there.

    • Oil Can Harry

      Yup, sounds like typical Tribe tripe.

    • sestamibi

      No, more like Slavic or Russian. As a member myself, I can tell you if he were he would be something like “Tanowitz”.

  • superlloyd

    What about appointments that are based on merit, you self loathing, hypocritical fool? They best serve the public through a functioning, competent justice system. I bet this proselyte has given up no appointment to diversity. I suggest he gives all his wealth and trappings to diversity in order to appease his White privilege and libtard guilt. Some hope.

    • Jesse_from_Sweden

      Of course he hasn’t.
      And if he was given an appointment he wouldn’t give it up in favor of a minority either.
      He would just think about all the good things he could accomplish if he had that power and how he could use his standing to better the chances for minorities that way.

      It’s just OTHER people that should step down……

      But there is an advantage to that actually. If competent self-hating whites with an agenda removes themselves from the system in favor of incompetent white-hating minorities with an agenda, that will actually be better for us.
      Better an incompetent enemy than a competent one.

  • Luca

    And White countries should just say “No” to minority immigrants. Problem solved.

    Many problems solved.

  • MekongDelta69

    What this idiot said:
    White, Male Lawyers Should Say ‘No’ to Judicial Appointments

    What this idiot was really thinking:
    White, Male People Should All Kill Themselves.

  • Chip Carver

    A lot of us would say that a good portion of those “White male” appointees over the past few decades were not really “White males”. Maybe someone like Tim Wise would publicly claim them to be, but behind closed doors it would likely be a different story.

  • LHathaway

    They’re all practicing in my town. In my town, all the judges downtown are women or people of color. They have been for 20 years, possibly 30 years. No doubt, this has left a ‘critical lack of diversity’ somewhere else.

    • Susannah

      Most of the judges on television as well. There are few White judges to be seen.

  • dd121

    Another example of blatant hatred toward white males on display.

  • Race Heretic

    “David Tanovich?”

    Ah, a self-hating white man kvetching about diversity among judicial appointment. What a mensch.

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    Here’s a picture of him. He appears to be mostly white, with possibly a bit of Amerindian or Asian admixture. It’s kind of hard to tell. Anyway, he should absolutely give his job up to a black person. This is the only fair solution, after all.

    • WR_the_realist

      He looks as white to me as most white people, but yes, he should certainly be required to give up his job to a black lesbian.

    • Tony Murphy

      He’s not White, he’s Tribal and therefore sees Whites as his tribal enemy.

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    According to his biography on the University of Windsor website:

    “Some of his more notable cases include R. v. Golden where the Supreme Court of Canada imposed constitutional limits on the ability of the police to strip-search suspects; R. v. Lyttle where the Supreme Court of Canada placed ethical limits on cross-examination; R. v. Richards, the first appellate case to argue racial profiling in Canada; R. v. Borde, where the Ontario Court of Appeal recognized that race is relevant in assessing sentence; and, R. v. Moore-McFarlane where the Ontario Court of Appeal held that the failure to video-tape a confession is a relevant factor in assessing admissibility.”

    I think that tells us everything we need to know about Mr. Tanovich.

  • Biff_Maliboo

    “a crisis of representativeness”

    Canada continues to earn its reputation as America’s Hat.

  • WR_the_realist

    So in Canada there is a demand that judges be appointed on the basis of their race and sex rather than their competence and objectivity. Is anyone surprised?

  • badbox27

    In this guy’s opinion, the way to improve things is to reduce the number of White males (deep sigh and SMH).

  • ncpride

    People like this fella just boggle the mind, yes? On the one hand, he thinks ‘White males’ should step aside because their skin color affords them some kind of invisible privilege, and that is oh-so-terrible, only to advocate the exact same practice for non whites, which is oh-so-wonderful. In other words, he advocates complete discrimination based on skin color.
    Any loony liberal reading his drivel must do so with smug satisfaction knowing this piece of work has bought into the anti-White propaganda so thoroughly. Shoot, they’ve got him begging for his own demise. I just can’t wrap my mind around how/why so many Whites fall for this nonsense even for a second. I’ll never understand tools like this fella.


      “People like this fella just boggle the mind, yes? On the one hand, he thinks ‘White males’ should step aside because their skin color affords them these jobs, and that is oh-so-terrible, only to advocate the exact same practice for non whites, which is oh-so-wonderful.” – Exactly! The hypocrisy that dwells within these social justice lunatics knows no bounds.
      Below shows the specific social justice lunatic in question, Mr. Tanovich

  • LHathaway

    You can’t fool me. I hate blacks. Nice try, though.

  • Tim

    I would not consider myself to be morally obligated to deal with the consequences of being sentenced by a judge like this. Not because he was “different” but because the basic premise of his appointment was immoral….

  • Raymond Kidwell

    You see it appears that 3/4 of this Italian football team is black, and as a result we should attempt to bring in more native Italians.. “booo! You f—ing racist! Get out! You’re gonna lose your job”. You see it appears that 3/4 of this law firm is white, and as a result we should attempt to bring in more non whites. *screaming ovation and applause* “It’s great to see somebody who isn’t racist around here”

  • Short version: white males should commit professional (and probably personal) suicide. I suggest that the author start with himself.