Simcha Rothman (L) and Esther Hayut (R)
Simcha Rothman (L) and Esther Hayut (R)Yonatan Sindel, Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90

MK Simcha Rothman, chairman of the Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee, on Wednesday morning appealed the decision by Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut not to disqualify herself from the discussion on the reasonableness standard.

"The honorable court is asked to accept the appeal and instruct to disqualify Honorable Chief of the Supreme Court from sitting in the hearing on the petitions named in the title, which focus on the amendment to Basic Law: The Judiciary (amendment #4). The appellant will state that there are many things which raise concerns of bias and harm the appearance of justice in a way which prevents Honorable Supreme Court Chief from participating in the hearings on the question of the legality of the amendments to the law. For this reason, and in accordance with the law, she should have disqualified herself from sitting in the hearing."

Rothman also requested that the court hold a hearing on the appeal without Hayut's presence, prior to the hearing on the content of the petitions themselves.

Among Rothman's explanations for his appeal is the fact that Hayut refused to disqualify herself, despite the fact that on January 12, 2023, she gave a speech in a public forum discussing her views and perspective on the matter, and specifically regarding the changes to the reasonableness standard.

Rothman added that Hayut called the process to correct the judiciary a process to "shatter" the judiciary, and described all of the proposals to amend the law "a reckless attack."

"There is not, and it should not be fathomed, certainly not in a proper way of justice, that a court will treat the litigants - the Justice Minister, government, and Chairman of the Knesset's Constitution Committee - as attackers who are threatening, storming, and shattering the entire theory of democracy, and at the same time discuss and judge their issue, as if nothing happened," Rothman said