New conservative justice sworn in on Supreme Court

Professor Alex Stein becomes Supreme Court justice with a speech highlighting importance of separation of powers.

Tzvi Lev,

Stein at his swearing in
Stein at his swearing in

Professor Alex Stein was sworn in as a Supreme Court justice on Thursday in a ceremony attended by President Reuven Rivlin, Supreme Court President Esther Hayut, and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

Stein, who was selected in February to succeed Justice Udi Shosham, is well-known for his opposition to judicial activism. His selection was seen as a victory for Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who pushed hard for his appointment.

During his speech, Stein highlighted the importance of the separation of powers in a thinly veiled critique at the activist direction the court has gone.

"A person of authority must act with the utmost expertise and respect the expertise of decision-makers in other matters," he said. "In modern life, the principle of equality under the law applies not only to people who make important decisions in the affairs of other people but also to the institutions of the state: the Knesset, the government, and the courts."

"These institutions must act for the benefit of the people while taking into account the diversity of opinions and while maintaining reciprocity over the limits of authority that the sovereign people have outlined for them. "

Shaked, who has been lobbying to pack Israel's High Court with justices who believe in judicial restraint, said that Stein's appointment makes the court" more diverse, more reflective and more balanced than it was three years ago."

"One of the main characteristics that characterize Stein is his intellectual independence, and he does not necessarily follow the path that was plowed before him," Shaked added. "He takes nothing for granted, and every subject, even one within the consensus, is thoroughly analyzed in all its different aspects.

"I have no doubt that his original thinking will be a significant added value in the Supreme Court."

Stein's candidacy was controversial, as he has not lived in Israel for over 15 years. Stein currently teaches at Brooklyn College in New York and has previously been on the faculty at Yeshiva University and Hebrew University.

More Arutz Sheva videos: