MembersA Full (Supreme) Court Press

The full bench of Israel’s highest court has been marshalled to consider ruling against a law to regulate its power.

By Stan Goodenough |
Will the judges try to take back all their former power? (Supreme Court justices stand flanking the president of Israel Isaac Herzog in blue.) Photo: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

Thirty consecutive weeks (and counting) of increasingly violent street protests seeking to unseat Israel’s governing coalition – but failing to do so – have led to the unprecedented decision to call 15 Supreme Court judges to the bench.

According to media reports, Supreme Court President Esther Hayut decided Monday that the full court would, on September 12, preside over “the hugely significant and explosive hearing” against what is known as the “reasonableness” law.

The legislation, which came into effect last week, ended the judges’ ability to scupper Knesset-passed laws which they – the judges – consider unreasonable.

Coming against this, it seems, Hayut plans a “full court press”. (def.: make a strong effort to influence by putting pressure.)

Legal experts have questioned the lawfulness of any ruling that might emerge because

a) the law applies to the court itself – meaning there is clearly a conflict of interest, and,

b) it is an amendment to one of the country’s Basic Laws; the closest thing Israel has to a constitution.

According to the ruling Likud party, Israel’s governments “have always been careful to respect...

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One response to “A Full (Supreme) Court Press”

  1. Andrew Chislett says:

    The first thing you learn in law school is Parliament is supreme. Legislatures are elected. Therefore, their laws overule Courts.

    It is astonishing that in Israel Judges choose Judges. In other democracies governments are careful who they choose as Judges.

    Courts are supposed to be consistent and predictable so justice isn’t a lottery. It’s unbelievable that the Israeli Supreme Court thinks it can exclude a minister designate on the basis of “reasonableness”.

    It is patently obvious that the Israeli left has been dying for decades. The judiciary is their last bastion of power.

    Far from the coalition carrying out a judicial coup, it the Israeli leftists who are carrying out a judicial coup.

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