Senior attorney Ilan Bombach, who will represent the government before the High Court of Justice in the hearing on the Reasonability amendment to the Basic Law: The Judiciary, is planning to ask for a postponement, several Israeli news outlets reported on Friday. Bombach, who replaces Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara who is opposed to the legislation, is going to argue that the hearing’s date, September 12, does not give him sufficient time to prepare.
The early date was set by Supreme Court President Esther Hayut who is eager to lead the unprecedented 15-judge panel in this case but is only too aware of her pending retirement in October.
“We intend to request the postponement of the hearing, seeing as we must respond to a great many petitions that have been submitted, and according to the injunction, we must address the claims in all of them,” Attorney Bombach told Ynet.
“We need to conduct a comprehensive comparative study of what is happening in other countries, a thorough and comprehensive treatment is required, so we will ask for the postponement,” Bombach explained. “In addition, we will ask to see the response of the AG, because according to reports she does not intend to defend the government’s position, so we want to see her writ first and then respond.”
“We are asking for reasonable deadlines,” Bombach said. He acknowledged the claim on the part of some jurists that the amendment was passed quickly, “but I claim that it was not composed in one day. It was preceded by many discussions, so even in this case, additional time is needed to seriously prepare for the High Court hearing.”
Last week, the High Court issued an injunction that froze the amendment, explaining this was done “for the sake of efficiency.” It should be noted that the High Court does not issue injunctions in cases where it is not reasonably certain of accepting the given petitions.
The High Court ruled that all the various petitions will be debated in a single hearing on September 12, and there are two more crucial hearings scheduled for September: on petitions to revoke another basic law, on the incapacity of the prime minister, against which the court has also placed an injunction, and petitions against Justice Minister Yariv Levin asking the court to compel him to assemble the committee to appoint judges.
How did the late great Lenny Cohen put it: Everybody knows that the dice are loaded / Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed / Everybody knows the war is over / Everybody knows the good guys lost / Everybody knows the fight was fixed / The poor stay poor, the rich get rich / That’s how it goes / And everybody knows.
Everybody in Israel knows the only reason all these crucial hearings and injunctions have been crammed into one month which is also packed with Jewish holidays during which the courts are not in session: because Justice Hayut is retiring on October 26 and she doesn’t want to miss out on the fun of skewering Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a rotating pit.
Last week, the heads of the coalition parties published a statement saying “the court does not have the authority to cancel basic laws and does not have the authority to determine that the basic law will come into effect at a later date. Nor does any court have the authority to cancel the results of the elections and allow the removal of a prime minister, which would cancel democracy at its foundation.”
That’s so funny. They think they live in a democracy.
By the way, Amit Segal points out that Bombach’s son happens to also be getting married that day. Mazel Tov.