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Knesset passes Override Clause, limiting Supreme Court’s power, in first reading

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By WorldIsraelNews.com Staff

The Knesset voted to back two key provisions of the government’s judicial overhaul plan early Tuesday morning.

During a marathon session overnight which continued into Tuesday morning, the Knesset plenum voted 61 to 52 in favor of a bill which would both limit the Supreme Court’s ability to strike down laws and provide the Knesset with an override to veto such rulings.

Opposition lawmakers filibustered for hours, delaying the vote, which ultimately split entirely along Coalition-Opposition lines.

The two provisions were passed in their first reading, and will now be sent back to the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, headed by MK Simcha Rothman (Religious Zionist Party), one of the architects of the judicial reform plan.

Once the committee has completed its hearings on the bill and finalized the details, the legislation will be sent back to the Knesset plenum for its second and third votes, after which it will become law.

If passed in its present form, the bill would bar the Supreme Court from exercising judicial review over any of Israel’s 13 Basic Laws or amendments to the Basic Laws.

Furthermore, the bill requires that in order to exercise judicial review over a standard law, the court must convene all 15 justices, with at least 80%, or twelve justices, voting to strike down the law.

Once struck down, however, the Knesset can vote to override the court and restore the law, with at least 61 MKs voting to override.

Yisrael Beitenu party chief MK Avidgor Liberman slammed the government after the vote, predicting it would lead to the restoration of the 2017 ultra-Orthodox draft law. “Override Clause IN – sharing the burden OUT,” Liberman tweeted.

“The passing of the Override Clause is a slap in the face of the IDF soldiers and reserve officers. This is another stage of this crazy government on the way to a deep rift among the people of Israel and splitting it in two. As Gafni said – between those who will go to the army and risk their lives and those who will go to yeshiva.”

“While the coalition is busy telling the reservists to go to hell, it promotes ruthless legislation that promotes the refusal of tens of thousands of young people to serve under the protection of the law,” he added.

“We will not allow the sacred values of ‘sharing of the burden’ and ‘the people’s army’ to be overrun and we will continue to fight to keep the State of Israel Jewish, Zionist and liberal.”

Hours earlier, on Monday night, the Knesset voted 61 to 51 to approve the first reading of the Incapacitation Law, which would bar the Attorney General from declaring a prime minister unfit to serve.

 

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