Israel Supreme Court Pushes Back Against Law To Pack Bench With Right-Wing Judges by the Forward

Israel Supreme Court Pushes Back Against Law To Pack Bench With Right-Wing Judges

Israel’s Supreme Court president accused the country’s right-wing justice minister on Wednesday of bringing “a gun to the table” in a dispute over a proposed reform that could make the court more conservative.

In a letter to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Chief Justice Miriam Naor accused her of failing to voice reservations about a bill that would effectively remove the court’s current veto in a committee that selects new justices.

Shaked has said she wants more conservative judges named to the court, whose oversight and occasional reversal of Israeli laws has drawn criticism from her and other right-wingers. The bill by a far-right legislator could help smooth the way since four slots on the 15-member court are due to open next year.

“Proposing the law at this time constitutes, under the circumstances, bringing a gun to the table,” Naor wrote in the letter released to media.

She suggested it was a bid to influence the outcome of the court’s preliminary consultations with Shaked about a list of nominees.

“I can only interpret your silence as an expression of support … for the bill,” she said, announcing she was suspending appointment discussions with the justice minister, a leading figure in the religious-nationalist Jewish Home party.

Under the current law, a successful candidate for the Supreme Court needs support from at least seven of the nine selection committee members. Three of them are court justices who can block an appointment if they vote the same way.

The proposed change would require only a simple majority, effectively enabling government representatives and others on the panel to push through an appointment over the court’s objections.

In a statement, Shaked’s office said she planned to push ahead with regular meetings of the committee - whether the justices turn up or not - and intends to publish a list of candidates for Supreme Court membership soon. Israel Radio reported the nominees would be announced on Sunday.—Reuters

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Israel Supreme Court Pushes Back Against Law To Pack Bench With Right-Wing Judges

Thank you!

This article has been sent!