What a clever move by Israel’s Supreme Court to rule now
In a 12-3 decision, an overwhelming majority of the justices voted that Basic Laws can be struck down by the High Court. And this particular one, a law the government wanted to disarm the Court, was voted down. It’s popularly called the reasonable law, but that is already a lie. It was a law saying the Court cannot annul a law, decision, or appointment by the State it deems unreasonable. So, the law was an anti-unreasonableness law.
The parties that lost could now choose between saying: “So, I was wrong – I respect the court,” or “I disagree, but the court has spoken,” and all in between. Instead, the losers twist the truth 180 degrees.
The exception confirming the rule is Distal-Atbaryan, Israel’s former public diplomacy minister, who just closed her ministry for budgetary reasons (wars cost money), and Sunday admitted to have been drunk on power when she began to fight the majority of the People, including her friends.
The Court was smart to rule now. We’re in a war. Because we need unity, no one can revive the strife between the government and the People.
Here’s an overview of what defeated politicians said and what’s the truth:
|The Claim (I Paraphrase)
|The Truth (Often the Reverse)
|The Court divides the country in wartime.
|The government sowed discord. That encouraged the enemy to attack.
|The Court voided its favorite law of human dignity to fight the government. That neither passed by a special majority.
|A Whataboutism. The speaker’s conclusion; not the Court’s idea at all. This ruling is to stop a change in the judicial status quo, a power grab.
|The people united for the war effort but this Court, from its ivory tower, is disconnected from the people.
|The Court ruled in favor of 80% of the People, overruling the government. It helps the People most as it just showed (days ago) allowing same-sex couples to adopt kids while the State refused to amend the law for 6 years!
|This ruling is legally shaky, politically crazy, and on the background of the state of the country, outrageous, and too hastily as it’s so controversial.
|The government tried quickly to bring down the Court’s power. There was no reason to be slow in rejecting it. A MK tried to suggest a bill to postpone a ruling, so there was no time to lose. Several justices are about to retire. Then it might lack a bold majority.
|Changes must be made step by step, in an evolutionary manner, not with public declarations, and debates.
|The government could have booked some success by going slower and less extreme. As the Sages say: Grab a lot, and you end up empty-handed.
|The Court took all power, which three branches of government must share. This begins to erode the principle of separation of powers and damages the position of the Knesset and the belief of the public in the judicial system.
|It was the government that tried to disempower the Court and take all power. The Public is not stupid. It knows that the Courts are here for us when the government and Knesset only do what’s good for their egos.
|The government is elected so that should have the last say since that is the will of the people and democracy.
|No, democracy is that the majority only decides as far as it agrees with the principles of equality and justice and the rights or needs of minorities.
|This is an unparalleled scandal in any Western democracy.
|The Dutch just gave the largest election win to Pieter Omtzigt who promised a court that can void laws.
|Clearly, the Supreme Court has no authority to cancel fundamental laws. A disgrace!
|The Court just ruled differently. It should be illegal to criticize court rulings since that weakens the courts.
This reminds me of a joke my mother used to tell. Lawyer cables client: Justice has prevailed. The client cables back: Appeal immediately.