OTTAWA, August 13, 2004 ( – Prime Minister Paul Martin said Thursday that the two vacancies on the Supreme Court would be filled without delay. Nominations have been pending since the resignation of two Supreme Court judges, Louise Arbour and Frank Iacobucci. Iacobucci retired from the Supreme Court in June and Arbour moves on to her new post as United Nations high commissioner for human rights in Geneva.  The fall appointments are seen as crucial by pro-life and pro-family circles, as the Supreme Court is to hear a milestone same-sex marriage case when the fall session begins. The pro-family movement is happy over the departure of Justice Arbour, who has ruled in favour of common law unions and urged the total criminalization of child spanking, but they are also apprehensive about the upcoming nominations.  When the Supreme Court begins its fall session in less than seven weeks time, new rules may be in place enabling parliamentarians to screen the nominations. Traditionally, Supreme Court nominations are made by the prime minister with few opportunities for prior scrutiny. The prime minister had promised a comprehensive set of new rules allowing MP’s to screen all future Supreme Court appointments, but the rules are not yet in place and Martin may have to draft temporary guidelines for the upcoming nominations.  Fore more coverage of this story, read   jmo