New Likud MK: I ignore decisions by the High Court

Incoming MK Tali Gottlieb stressed that an Override Clause is irrelevant as the High Court has no authority to invalidate laws.

HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE President Esther Hayut hears a petition at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH 90)
HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE President Esther Hayut hears a petition at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH 90)

Incoming Likud MK Tali Gottlieb, who earned the party's new women's slot in August, stated that she "ignores rulings" by the High Court of Justice that nullify laws during an interview with Ynet on Tuesday, claiming that the High Court has no such authority.

"The Override Clause is a very pompous and beautiful title, but there is no need for it," said Gottlieb. "The Basic Law of the Judiciary does not give the High Court the authority to annul laws. As for myself, I ignore such rulings. This is a ruling without authority, I do not respect it."

While the Basic Law - The Judiciary does not give the High Court the authority to invalidate laws passed by the legislature, in the 1990s then High Court chief justice Aharon Barak interpreted the Basic Laws "Human Dignity and Liberty" and "Freedom of Occupation" as granting the judicial system the authority to invalidate any legislation that violates these basic laws in the eyes of the court. This interpretation has not been enshrined in legislation but has been followed since the 1990s.

"The High Court needs to remember its place and needs to curb its power," added Gottlieb to Ynet. "When the court acts without authority, I don't respect it, I'm sorry. When the court, listen to me carefully, when the High Court annuls a law, it acts in blatant violation of its acquired authority in Section 2 of the Basic Law - The Judiciary."

"I'm sorry to disappoint the justices of the High Court," tweeted Gottlieb on Tuesday. "They have no authority to repeal laws. The High Court does think that it is lifted above the people, but the Basic Law - the Judiciary states that a judge has no jurisdiction other than the provisions of the law. Every judgment of the High Court that annuls a law is a judgment given without authority and therefore void in its essence! An Override Clause that everyone wants means recognition of the authority of the High Court to annul a law. [This is a] mistake!"

A screen capture of the live stream feed from a hearing at the High Court of Justice (credit: screenshot)A screen capture of the live stream feed from a hearing at the High Court of Justice (credit: screenshot)

The incoming Likud MK additionally expressed a desire to serve as the chairwoman of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee in the newly elected Knesset. "I really hope that they will find me worthy of this important position and I really hope that the know-how, the legal knowledge, the experience, the battles that I have waged in these 22 years will lead me to manage this matter correctly."

Right-wing, Haredi parties demand Override Clause

Gottlieb's comments come as Haredi and right-wing party leaders demand the enactment of an Override Clause that would allow the Knesset to override decisions made by the High Court with a basic majority of 61 MKs. The clause in its present form and in various other forms has been hotly debated in Israeli politics for years, with some believing it balances power between the different branches of government and others arguing that it would leave the legislature largely unchecked.