A St. John's judge has ruled she will not remove herself from a constitutional challenge brought by blogger Brad Cabana, a political maverick who wants a public review of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project.
Cabana had argued that Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador Justice Gillian Butler was in a conflict of interest, because her husband, David McKay, is a partner with Roebothan McKay Marshall, the law firm that is representing former premier Danny Williams in a pending defamation case against Cabana.
Butler ruled on Wednesday that she would not step away from Cabana's constitutional challenge, which started in St. John's a couple of weeks ago.
Butler said she remains "disinterested" in the outcome of the case, and is "open to persuasion by the evidence."
Cabana is considering an appeal of Butler's decision.
Butler said his challenge of Muskrat Falls should proceed, though dates have not been set.
Cabana said he feared that Butler could award damages — the legal costs incurred by other parties in his case, including Crown energy corporation Nalcor — against him that could hurt his defence in the defamation case.
Cabana, who comments frequently on Newfoundland and Labrador politics on his Rock Solid Politics blog and through social media, is a former Saskatchewan mayor who earned a profile in the province through unsuccessful bids to become leaders of both the Progressive Conservative and Liberal parties.