The Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee on Wednesday morning approved a bill setting limits on judicial review, under which High Court judges can annul laws only with a majority of 12 out of 15. The bill also empowers 61 MKs to override High Court rulings. The bill was passed without objections since the committee’s opposition members decided to express their rage at the other side’s long string of wins by boycotting the vote.
More votes for us.
Here’s how committee chairman Simcha Rothman (Religious Zionism) described Wednesday’s agenda in three tweets:
Today, with God’s help, the bill regarding judicial review of legislation and overriding court rulings will be put to a vote in the committee ahead of its first reading in the plenum.
According to the bill, the court CAN annul legislation that violates the provisions of basic laws (such as Human Dignity and Freedom and other basic laws that have been preserved), with a panel that includes all Supreme Court judges and by a majority of 80% of said panel.
The court will also be able to determine that a law is not valid if it was not passed by the required majority or the required number of panel readings according to a basic law, a law, or an ordinance.
A mechanism has been established to transfer proceedings from an ordinary court in which a question arises about the validity of a law, to the special panel of the Supreme Court.
In addition, the Knesset can have the last word on the validity of a law through the override clause. Such a vote in effect requires votes by two consecutive Knessets, which would both vote to override the court’s annulment with a majority of 61 in all the votes. This will guarantee that the override is not exercised by a random or casual majority.
The committee’s opposition members boycotted the vote at the end of a loud confrontation that broke out during the debate. This was in line with thousands who are demonstrating against the judicial reform as part of a “National Day of Disruption.”