The Israel Bar Association on Tuesday selected lawyer Muhammad Na’amana as a new representative for the all-important Judicial Selection Committee.Later in the summer, the Bar Association will vote on its other spot for the committee, which has been held by lawyer Ilana Sacker. It is unclear if Sacker will seek reelection, but the seat is expected to be contested. This committee selects judges at the lower levels and picks the High Court of Justice candidates who have a massive impact on the country’s policies and macro-constitutional environment. That makes the selections important in any time period.However, the selections are viewed as even more important now because there is a chance that whoever is appointed to the High Court in the next round of appointments could be on a panel hearing an appeal over the verdict in the bribery trial against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.Although there are no immediate vacancies to fill, between now and October 2023, the following justices are due to retire: Hanan Melcer in April 2021, Neal Hendel and George Kara in 2022 and Supreme Court President Esther Hayut and Anat Baron in October 2023.This means at least one-third of the High Court’s 15 justices will change during this government’s term, assuming it runs its minimum of three years.Given that Netanyahu’s trial and appeal could take years, it also means that the appointed justices will likely take up their seats in time to hear an appeal of the Netanyahu verdict.For the prime minister, how these justices vote could be the difference between jail and freedom and could also decisively impact his political career.Na’amana is the chairman of the Israel Bar Association Northern District and runs a private litigation firm. He received 26 votes, compared with 12 for Doron Barzilai (a former Israel Bar Association president) and five for Yitzhak Gordon.Na’amana is filling the seat left empty since former Bar Association president Efi Naveh had to quit after being indicted in a variety of corruption and sex-bribery scandals.Na’amana and Gordon were considered affiliated with the Bar Association’s progressive and more politically left wing, while Barzilai was affiliated with the more conservative right wing.In mid-July, the Knesset selected Likud MK Osnat Hila Mark, a Netanyahu pick, and Derech Eretz MK Zvi Hauser, a Benny Gantz pick, as its representatives on the committee.The nine-member committee is made up of three High Court justices; two Bar Association appointees, now filled by Na’amana and for a short time longer Sacker; the justice minister, who chairs the committee; another government minister, expected to be Transportation Minister Miri Regev; and the two non-minister MKs.Critics slammed Mark’s appointment because she has a photograph of the convicted and disgraced Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto in her office, seems to lack clear qualifications and is presumed to be planted by Netanyahu.These critics worry that Mark will try to influence the committee to pick justices who will be beholden to Netanyahu and help him with any appeal from the verdict for his bribery trial.In fact, Mark recently attacked the Bar Association, saying it should not be involved in selecting judges, though she has limited political influence as a Likud backbencher.Also, given that Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn is from Blue and White, he and the Bar Association are expected to vote with the three High Court justices to form a majority of at least 6-3 and possibly 7-2 if joined by Hauser.Either way, Likud and Blue and White are expected to negotiate over who is appointed to the High Court. But Gantz may have some advantages given the balance of the panel.At the same time, Blue and White almost supported former justice minister Ayelet Shaked over Mark.Though Shaked would not have tried to appoint justices sympathetic to Netanyahu, she would have supported conservative justices over progressive justices.Being that Blue and White supported Shaked and has supported Hauser, who is also ideologically conservative, suggests that the party may seek a middle ground in appointing justices.