The Discussion on the Clause of Reasonability

After 13 hours: the discussion on the Clause of Reasonability ended

After 13.5 hours, the discussion in the Supreme Court regarding the law to limit the Clause of Reasonability has concluded. Now, everyone is waiting for the judgment, which will be delivered in the coming months. The Knesset and the government were given 21 days to complete their written arguments

(Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90)

After 13 long hours of deliberations, the discussion in the Supreme Court regarding the law to limit the Clause of Reasonability concluded this evening (Tuesday), with a verdict expected to be delivered in the coming months. The government and the Knesset were given an additional 21 days to complete their written arguments.

Towards the end of the discussion, Attorney Ilan Bombach requested to clarify his statements regarding the Declaration of Independence, which had sparked a widespread public outcry. "I saw that there was some spin about what I said from various elements in the opposition. My words are very clear that the Government of Israel and I, in particular, support and want the Declaration of Independence to remain the foundational document," he argued. "Everything I said is by no means meant to harm the individuals who signed the Declaration. What I said is that this court does not have jurisdiction over the legality of the Declaration of Independence. The Government of Israel has no intention of changing or canceling the Declaration of Independence in any way."

The attorney representing the government, Ilan Bombach (Photo: Yonatan Sindel, Flash 90)

Rothman: "Don't try to take democracy away from the people of Israel"

As mentioned, at the beginning of the discussion, the Chair of the Constitution Committee, Simcha Rothman, addressed the judges, who interrupted his remarks repeatedly. Rothman responded to them, stating that in his view, they are not supposed to judge, and they do not have the authority to judge the Basic Law.

Rothman criticized the very existence of the discussion and said, "In fact, the very existence of this discussion indicates that the court does not respect the public's judgment. The very thought that a legal, clean, and sterile discussion is possible, when the basic question under discussion is whether the court is acting as it should today? Or acted as it should in the past, suggests a blurring of values."

"Can you be the ones to judge this, without bias, without being influenced by the fact that you are dealing with your honor, your status, and your authority? I understand that you believe you are acting as you should, but if you are also the final arbiters on this question, where are the checks and balances? Where are the constraints?"

Rothman in today's debate (Photo: Yonatan Sindel Flash 90)

Later on, Bombach argued that the Supreme Court judges are "talking about an extreme scenario." He said, "The government and the Knesset expect the Supreme Court to trust them, not to use what might be considered a nuclear weapon – a petition against a basic law is a doomsday weapon." Furthermore, Justice Amit added, "The Supreme Court is the most restrained court in the world, with 1.6 decisions per year. So, please explain to me why? Why do we need this amendment?" Justice Amit pointed out, "The law is the Clause of Reasonability."

"The idea of ​​the coup - a structure suitable for theocracy"

On the other hand, the leader of the Movement for Government Quality, Eliad Shraga, emphasized that "the idea of this governmental revolution is to transform the authorities of the State of Israel into an autocratic structure, so that the legislative authority and the judicial authority will be subject to the executive authority. This structure is suitable for a theocracy."

During his statement, the conservative judges strongly challenged Shraga's argument that there is an infringement on the democratic component of the state. Shraga also made a comparison to the rise of the Nazi regime. Judge Yechiel Kasher said to Attorney Eliad Shraga, "What is the connection between the amendment of the Reasonability and the infringement on the independence of the judiciary - the independence of the judiciary is that it decides based on the extent of its judgment, not on the extent of its authority."

Continuing the discussion, Judge Noam Solberg clarified that amending the Clause of Reasonability through the Knesset is not the right way: "Whoever wanted with or without good intentions to link between the lecture and the legislation now, I, in the final analysis, did not take any position. If you want to cling to the unconstitutional amendment – doctrine needs to take a broad view and not scrutinize every basic law in a separate constitution. We have not yet reached a point of constitution, where the use of this doctrine is impossible at the present stage."

President Hayut referred to the judge's remarks and stated that "the Clause of Reasonability is one of the central tools of the court, which has developed through jurisprudence. Even Justice Solberg's colleagues believe that narrowing it is correct, but the platform to do this is not a basic law. The natural place to narrow it is where it was developed - the court."

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