Justice Minister Yariv Levin and Supreme Court President Ester Hayut will reach an agreement on the appointment of the next two Supreme Court judges, according to Likud Ministers MKs who spoke to Kan 11 News.
Justice Minister Levin told his colleagues behind closed doors that he should be able to reach agreements with Supreme Court President Hayut on the appointment of two conservative-leaning Supreme Court judges before Hayut’s retirement in October. And as things stand with the current composition of the committee to appoint judges, Levin and Hayut have the required seven votes for such a decision.
As far as Levin is concerned, before he starts negotiations with Hayut on the selection of judges, there must be progress in legislation on at least one of the two minor items about which the negotiators at the president’s residence reportedly agree: either on restricting the reasonability doctrine or on splitting the role of the Attorney General (President’s Residence Negotiations Near Agreement on Reasonability, AG’s Status). When either of these laws passes, Levin will go into a closed room with Hayut.
Meanwhile, it appears the Likud has managed to strike some discord between its two opponents. As we reported on Wednesday (Coalition Tells Gantz They Prefer His Judicial Appointments Candidate Over Lapid’s), coalition officials recently sent a message to MK Benny Gantz’s National Unity Party saying they prefer to support their candidate for the committee to appoint judges over Yesh Atid’s candidate, MK Karine Elharrar. As a result, although Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz agreed to choose one opposition candidate for the committee, there is no compromise between them on choosing the representative.
Divide and conquer, so Bibi.
Kan 11 reported that Avigdor Liberman, Mansour Abbas, and Ayman Odeh support the candidacy of Karin Elharer. And if you’re a political junky, you are probably delighted by a sentence that includes Avigdor Liberman, Mansour Abbas, and Ayman Odeh in the same breath.
On Wednesday, Yesh Atid endorsed a bill that was submitted by Labor MK Gilad Kariv amending the basic law on human dignity and freedom, which is being debated in the President’s residence these days as part of the negotiations surrounding the judicial reform. Minister Levin was irate at the insolence of the opposition which is threatening daily to walk away from the negotiations should the coalition even hint at a new bill regarding the justice system, while doing exactly that in the plenum.
It was one of Levin’s angrier speeches, to which the former Justice Minister, Gideon Saar, responded quite rudely, calling on Levin to “seek hospitalization.” Mind you, Saar leads the opposition team at the negotiations.
Not very presidential.