Antonin Scalia's nightmare (or is it?*) came true for our northern neighbors today:
Group sex among consenting adults is neither prostitution nor a threat to society, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Wednesday as it lifted a ban on so-called “swingers” clubs.
In a ruling that radically changes the way courts determine what poses a threat to the population, the top court threw out the conviction of a Montreal man who ran a club where members could have group sex in a private room behind locked doors.
“Consensual conduct behind code-locked doors can hardly be supposed to jeopardize a society as vigorous and tolerant as Canadian society,” said the opinion of the seven-to-two majority, written by Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin. [...]
“Criminal indecency or obscenity must rest on actual harm or a significant risk of harm to individuals or society. The Crown failed to establish this essential element of the offense. (Its) case must therefore fail,” McLachlin wrote.
In indecency cases, Canadian courts have traditionally probed whether the acts in question “breached the rules of conduct necessary for the proper functioning of society”. The Supreme Court ruled that from now on, judges should pay more attention to whether society would be actively harmed.
* Justice Scalia, like most cosmopolitan conservatives, probably would say that it is the judicial imposition of this standard and not the standard itself that appalls him.
With all the snow and ice in Canada, Justice Scalia's "slippery slope" may come into its own, including perhaps as an Olympic sport.