The ministerial legislation committee today approved a bill introduced by MK Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home Party) giving a majority of 61 MKs the power to ratify a law struck down by the Supreme Court. The bill is an amendment to the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. Minister of Construction and Housing Yoav Gallant voted against the bill. His Kulanu faction has an exemption from coalition discipline in the vote on the bill in the Knesset plenum.
Minister of Education and Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett and Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked said, "The government today began building a wall separating the three branches of government. The High Court's interference in legislation and the government's decisions long ago deviated from the accepted norm. The override clause will restore the public's confidence in the High Court and restore the original functions to the three branches: the Knesset legislates, the government executes, and the court interprets. No branch should interfere with another one. As the representative of the people, the Knesset is sovereign, as in any proper democracy."
The Attorney General and Kahlon are opposed
Minister of Finance and Kulanu chairperson MK Moshe Kahlon, who opposed the override amendment in the ministerial legislation committee, said following the committee's vote, "The Kulanu faction will oppose the override amendment in the Knesset plenum. Passage of the bill in the ministerial legislation committee is a breach of the coalition agreement and damages the rule of law. The Kulanu faction will continue to campaign against the override amendment. We will struggle and will not allow extremist groups to lead Israel's agenda. We have said in recent weeks that we are willing to hold a broad discussion about organizing the relations between the court and the Knesset. This process should be conducted in an orderly manner, after the issue was not addressed for years - not with extremism, as is now taking place, or unilaterally, as was done today."
Earlier today, following a meeting of the coalition heads, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated his intention of engaging the other factions in the coalition in dialogue concerning the wording of the override clause.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 6, 2018
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