The Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved on Sunday a bill submitted by MK Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) that would enable the Knesset to override a High Court decision to strike down a law it had previously legislated.
The bill would add a clause to the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom, allowing the re-legislation of laws annulled by the High Court, with a 61-seat majority. The clause would be added to the Basic Law as a temporary order for a period of four years.
Immediately following the decision by the Ministerial Committee, which decides which bills will receive the coalition's support, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni – who is the committee's chairman – filed an appeal against it. This means that the legislation process will be frozen until the entire government discusses the bill and approves it.
The bill was submitted in the wake of the High Court decision to strike down the Infiltrators' Law, which the Knesset passed in order to combat the flood of illegal immigrants that has plagued working-class neighborhoods. MK Shaked noted that in writing the minority opinion in the decision, Supreme Court President Asher Grunis implored his fellow judges not to create a crisis with the government and Knesset "by taking the reins of legislation into their hands."
Shaked opined that "if there is a substantial disagreement between appointed judges and elected officials, on whether a certain law is appropriate for the country's values or not, and whether it is proportional or not, it is proper that the values of the public will decide and have precedence."
Economics Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) praised the committee's decision and said that "The Knesset and the government are the sovereign power in Israel, and MK Shaked's bill brings back the principle of separation of authorities from the civics lessons to reality.
Allowing African infiltrators to enter Israel freely is "dangerous for security as well as democracy," Bennett added.
Minister Uri Orbach, also of Jewish Home, said that "a bad law by a legislator is better than a good law by a judge, only because [the legislator] is an elected official and is sovereign."