The next steps for the judicial reform were set out by Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chairman Simcha Rothman in forums online and in the Knesset on Tuesday evening, who also explained how he perceived how the process had unfolded so far.
"Yesterday we finished part one of the reform," Rothman opened on a Facebook livestream with Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, referring to the two bills that Rothman's committee had voted to send to the Knesset plenum.
Rothman described the first bill, to prevent the High Court of Justice from engaging in judicial review of matters pertaining to Basic Laws.
"Less simple but not any less trivial," said Rothman, was the judge selection committee. He described how the current system gave judges more power to appoint other judges, and that his proposal would appoint more elected officials to decide on judge selection.
Rothman argued that elsewhere in the world, such as Canada, Ireland and New Zealand, the ruling government coalition had the power to appoint judges.
The bill would also see an opposition member appointed as part of the selection committee. He bemoaned that the opposition had not spoken to him about how they would wish such a process to occur. He also said that in his law, it was important to him that female representative would be required from each authority.
The committee chairman said that this first part didn't yet touch on the override or reasonableness clauses.
"Today we started to talk about how the High Court cancels a law," said Rothman, referring to Tuesday's committee session on another committee bill part of the judicial reform. "It's an unconventional weapon," he said, comparing the court's ability to do so to a nuclear weapon.
A bill extremely similar to the current committee bill draft would be presented to the Knesset plenum on Wednesday as a private bill written by Rothman.
Rothman's proposal would see the High Court only able to strike down legislation if a full bench of justices unanimously agreed that a law contradicted one of Israel's quasi-constitutional Basic Laws.
"If it's such a terrible law, 15 justices can agree to cancel it," said Rothman.
Rothman emphasized that there was room for change and discussion during the legislative process. Smotrich said that no draft bill came out the same as it started once going through a committee.
Rothman said based on the process thus far, the rhetoric and conduct seen in his committee on Monday were unwarranted. Monday saw massive protests against the reforms across Israel, as well as aggressive opposition in the committee session. Smotrich said that a campaign of demagoguery had been launched against Rothman.
The coalition members said that they had invited opposition leader Yair Lapid to meet with them and President Isaac Herzog to discuss the latter's five-point proposal for negotiations on legal reforms, but Lapid had rejected the call without cessation of the legislative process. Rothman indicated that the process would not stop. Monday coalition leaders agreed to meet at the President's house under no preconditions.
Rothman was attacked by opposition members during Tuesday's session for accepting to meet with Herzog but not ceasing the legislative process.
"Look at me when I speak to you, and tell me how you're not ashamed," said Yesh Atid MK Karine Elharrar. She said that 24 hours had not yet passed since he had agreed to meet with the president before holding yet another session. Elharrar continued, saying that he could have respected the committee and only pushed his private bill, but he had continued with both.
Yesh Atid MK Yoav Segalovich said that there was little difference between the draft before the committee and the content of the private bill. He asserted that the coalition was using too much force to pass its agenda, highlighting that in addition to Rothman's private reform bill, there was also the "Deri Law 2" basic amendment before the plenum on Wednesday.
Labor MK Gilad Kariv accussed Rothman of launching a blitz of sessions and discussions that were incomparable to the normal schedules of other legislative agendas. He noted as proof the inability of he and other MKs to meet their responsibilities to other committees. Hadash-Ta'al MK Ofer Cassif arrived late to the law committee coming from another session and was unable to register to speak.
Kariv said that in the face of a terrorism wave and other challenges, there was no legal endeavor receiving a comparable administrative push.
"We don't have a law committee, we have a Rothman and Levin committee for ruining the legal system," said Kariv.