Knesset committee approves bill that would allow lawmakers to override Supreme Court rulings


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Knesset committee approved controversial legislation that would allow the Israeli parliament to override rulings of the Supreme Court.

On Sunday, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation in an 11-1 vote approved a measure that would allow the Knesset to re-enact laws that have been struck down by the high court with a simple majority of its 120 members.

The legislative body could begin voting as early as Wednesday on what is known as the override power bill, an amendment to Israel’s Basic Law.

The bill’s major supporters, Education Minister Naftali Bennet and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, both of the pro-settlement Jewish Home party, said in a statement after the committee vote that the legislation marks the“beginning of the building of a separation wall between the three branches” of government.

“The bypass clause will return the public confidence in the High Court of Justice and will restore the original functions of the branches: the Knesset legislates, the governments implements and the court interprets. One branch cannot intervene in the affairs of the other. It should be remembered that the Knesset, as a representative of the nation, is the sovereign as in any civilized democracy,” the joint statement said.

Moshe Kahlon, who heads Kulanu, has called on his centrist party’s lawmakers to vote against the bill. Kulanu is part of the government coalition.

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