Marshall Rothstein muses on nine years in Canada’s Supreme Court

“Just don’t screw up.”

That was rookie Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s advice to a nervous Marshall Rothstein before the federal judge made Canadian legal history as the first ever to face a public grilling by parliamentary committee as Harper’s first Supreme Court of Canada nominee.

It was 2006.

But with Rothstein, Harper had made a safe pick. An administrative and transportation law expert, Rothstein had been shortlisted prior to the election by an all-party committee after a search conducted under the previous Liberal government. The parliamentary hearing would be smooth sailing.

Rothstein, however, was a nervous wreck: “It was very scary,” he admits now.

In an interview to mark his Aug. 31st retirement, Rothstein says leaving the top court after nine years is also scary.

This content has been updated on September 12, 2015 at 21:18.