Israeli High Court battle: Shaked bids for more conservative judges

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has embarked on a battle to bring more conservative judges into Israel’s Supreme Court and redress what the right-of-center and right-wing parties in power have long complained is an overwhelming imbalance in favor of liberal justices and judgments. It is contended that the highest court in the land not only goes too far in its oversight of the government on controversial policies, but also challenges Knesset legislation.

Minister Shaked in pressing her case for reform maintains: “The constitutional revolution has gone too far. Over the years, the court has assumed excessive power, thereby blurring the separation between the three branches of government.

The “constitutional revolution” she wants to repeal is the 2008 law amendment that requires a 7-2 majority in the Judicial Appointments Committee for appointing Supreme Court judges. This panel consists of two ministers, two Bar Association members, the Chief Justice and two sitting justices. At the moment, the committee is deadlocked over four new appointments for vacant seats on the bench: the President of the Supreme Court, Miriam Naor is using her veto power to block Shaked’s conservative candidates.
The minister, who chairs the committee, is seeking new legislation to annul this veto by reversing the 2008 amendment and allowing appointments to be carried by a simple majority.

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