The Committee for Judicial Appointments was supposed to convene on Monday afternoon; instead, the meeting was postponed, it now emerges, due to a failure to reach an agreement between the committee’s members regarding appointments to the Supreme Court.
“Despite the many efforts that were made to reach an agreement regarding the appointment of judges – as the law requires – we are not able to report any success in this area,” said Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar. “As Justice Minister, I am aware of the responsibility that devolves upon me to ensure that the judges selected will bring about a measure of balance in the composition of the highest judicial authority in the land, for many years to come.
“Implementing this requires, on the one hand, compromise, and on the other hand, making choices that reflect the pursuit of diversity and balance in the composition of the Supreme Court,” Sa’ar noted. “It would not be responsible to pursue these goals at any price,” he cautioned, “and I hope that we will be able to reach the necessary understandings and agreements within a short time.”
Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, a member of the Committee for Judicial Appointment, added that, “There isn’t going to be a bad deal. It won’t happen. The Justice Minister made the right decision in postponing the committee meeting.”
Meanwhile, the two right-wing political representatives on the committee, MK Simcha Rotman (Religious Zionism) and Minister Shaked (Yamina), are trying to arrange a “deal” whereby two conservative judges and two “activist” judges will be appointed to the Supreme Court. Sa’ar, for his part, has opted to team up with Supreme Court President Esther Hayut and work toward the appointment of two or three judges who are considered liberal. The Supreme Court Justices who are also committee members, along with representatives of the Bar Association on the committee and MK Efrat Reitan (Labor), however, object to the appointment of any conservative justices whatsoever.
Another source of disagreement stems from the demand of the Bar Association that one of the four people appointed as judges should be from the private sector. The various sides will ultimately be forced to compromise in advance of a new date for the committee’s meeting.