Coalition chairman Miki Zohar tweeted on Saturday night that he will recommend that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu support Yamina MK Ayelet Shaked's Supreme Court Override Clause, raising concerns of yet another crisis in the coalition.
"We cannot go against our voters," stressed Zohar in the tweet on Saturday night.The Blue and White Party stressed that they would "not allow anti-democratic legislation. This is what we promised the Israeli public and this is what we will do to protect the State of Israel." The party added that the coalition agreed on the matter when the unity government was formed."We will stand by the agreements and expect our other partners to stand by them as well," added Blue and White.As Blue and White and Likud came close to signing a coalition deal in April, current Culture and Sport Minister Chili Tropper, from Blue and White, called the override clause a "redline."
The bill, which will go before the Knesset plenum for an initial reading this week, will set the law such that only the Supreme Court sitting as a panel of at least 11 judges will be able to nullify a law approved by the Knesset. Such a decision by the Supreme Court would only pass if at least two-thirds of the judges support the decision, according to the bill.
Any law nullified by the Supreme Court could be reapproved by 61 MKs for a period of five years, if the Override Clause is approved. The five year term of a reapproved law could be extended by reapproving the law.Shaked's bill would also set that judicial review of the legislative process of ordinary laws will be limited only to situations where the legislative process deviated from legal provisions, such as laws that were instituted without a necessary majority or without the proper number of readings."A special opportunity will arise this week for MKs from the right-wing bloc - an opportunity to stop whining, an opportunity to stop the judicial piracy," tweeted Shaked on Saturday night. "Will they come to vote or will they continue to whine?"Senior UTJ MK Moshe Gafni also introduced legislation on the High Court override after a clash within the coalition concerning a bill to ban conversion therapy.
Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn from Blue and White and Ministerial Liaison to the Knesset David Amsalem from the Likud Party announced last week that they would not advance any legislation that does not concern the coronavirus crisis.
In June, Nissenkorn said that he would block any attempt to give the Knesset an override over the Supreme Court as long as he is in office. Nissenkorn said that the country should want strong judicial review powers to protect the common man.The announcement by Zohar to support the bill comes as a number of conflicts within the coalition have raised concerns that Israel could be headed for another round of elections. In just the past few weeks, the coalition has clashed over the Judicial Selection Committee, a bill to ban conversion therapy and the budget.
Yonah Jeremy Bob and Hagay Hacohen contributed to this report.