Monday, May 14, 2018

More analysis on Comeau and the constitution

Advocates for the Comeau "free beer' case, recently thrown out unanimously by the Supreme Court of Canada, have complained that the judges "disparaged" history and offered a "bizarre" or "dumbfounding" take on Canadian history.

At Borealia, historian and legal scholar Bradley Miller argues precisely the opposite:
the courts took history and historical evidence and inquiry seriously in Comeau. In fact, historical analysis was central to the case against Comeau’s right to bring beer over the provincial boundary. We may not like the policy outcomes of the Supreme Court’s decision, but if unfettered free trade didn’t triumph, it’s not because the justices decided to ignore Canada’s past.... 
In fact, two very different versions of history emerged from two historians involved in the litigation.
One of the two different versions Miller identifies is mine, as it happens, and that is the version of history Miller and the Supreme Court share.

Andrew Smith, an advocate for the other version, responds with, inter alia, a reading list of Comeau commentary he likes better at his blog The Past Speaks.
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