In response to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech on the judicial reform on Thursday evening, The Movement for the Quality of Government (MQG) petitioned the High Court of Justice, claiming Netanyahu’s speech was in contempt of court. MQG asked the court to “oblige the respondent to comply with its judgment, as well as to impose a fine, imprisonment, or any other necessary sanction on him.”
Supreme Court President Esther Hayut ordered PM Netanyahu and AG Gali Baharav-Miara to respond with a week. Baharav-Miara already declared on Friday that Netanyahu’s speech was illegal. A number of groups petitioned the court pointing out the AG’s own conflict-of-interest, but the court threw out their petitions and fined the petitioners who dared to point out the obvious.
MQG claims that Netanyahu is violating the conflict-of-interest decision by the court that prevents him from weighing in on any legislation or government decisions that directly affects his ongoing court cases.
The AG’s position is that Netanyahu is not allowed to discuss the judicial reforms at all. She was also working to have Netanyahu declared incapacitated because she determined he wasn’t allowed to discuss judicial reforms, and therefore couldn’t fulfill his job as prime minister, in some very circular reasoning.
Once the Knesset passed the law that the AG is not allowed to declare the PM incapacitated, Netanyahu was freed of one of the many legal handcuffs placed on him by the judicial branch attempting to prevent him from running the country and reforming the judiciary. At which point Netanyahu addressed the country about the judicial reforms, why they are important, and how the government will also pass laws to protect individual rights.
Netanyahu has made it clear that doesn’t believe that his weighing in on the judicial reforms affects his case at all, or that the judicial reforms will affect his case either.
This is just the latest step in the Supreme Court’s war to maintain its primacy over the country’s elected officials.
Attorney Michael Rabilo responded on behalf of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (translated):
“The Prime Minister’s position is that the petitions should be rejected outright due to a lack of authority and the lack of grounds for judicial intervention.
“After the passage of the fortification law, the decision on the matter mentioned in the petition is not within the authority of the honorable court, and therefore the petition should be rejected outright.
“Even before the adoption of the aforementioned law, it would have been appropriate to reject the petition outright, since the petitioners actually asked the honorable court, under the guise of an “administrative” petition, to replace the people’s elected officials and to issue orders that actually instruct the removal of a sitting prime minister and a change of government without a decision by the people’s elected officials. in the Knesset and without any fixed authority in the law.
“This is a very serious attempt to drag the judicial system into the political cauldron and make it decide contrary to the law and contrary to the decision of the elected democratic institutions, and this without any express authority in the law. No word games will be able to hide the fact that there is an attempt here to uproot the idea of the sovereignty of the people and carry out a governmental coup under the auspices of the honorable court.”