US Supreme Court justices 2022
US Supreme Court justices 2022SCOTUS website

“Millions of people in this country feel angry about the Supreme Court’s decisions … I must admit, I am, too.”

Was that Yair Lapid or Benny Gantz, leaders of the Israel Knesset opposition? Was it MK Avigdor Liberman or Israel’s president Isaac Herzog? Perhaps it was Bibi Netanyahu as the court issues multiple decisions trying to disable his selection by his election-winning coalition partners to be prime minister and calling MK Aryeh Deri's appointment as a minister "unreasonable" despite his receiving 400/000 votes in the elections.

After all, the Supreme Court in a democracy and civilized environment is the final word and deciding entity when it comes to the matter of the laws that we, the people, live by. (Emphasis is on the world "laws" and not every facet of life.)

Those words above were not uttered by a political personality in Israel. It was Joe Biden last Friday after the U.S. Supreme Court issued decisions upending affirmative action and the Biden administration’s effort to forgive $400 billion in student loans, another matter that the court ruled as unconstitutional.

It was a bad week for Biden and his administration that is not only being pulled to the hard left but is leaning in the direction of chaos and anarchy.

While you might be pleased with the performance of the U.S. Supreme Court last week, take a deep breath because the court is what it is only thanks to Donald Trump. Oh no! Again?

I suppose you can call it Trump or you can call it dumb luck. It wasn’t his doing that there were three vacancies on the high court during his four years in the White House. But it is to his credit that he nominated jurists like Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett to the court, all accomplished legal scholars and not just political hacks. Those three relatively new judges, along with Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and sometimes Chief Justice John Roberts, not only give the court a 6–3 conservative edge but, most importantly, are reflective of the will of the country as a whole.

In the aftermath of last week’s experience, it looks like Biden does not approve of a court decision that comes about as a result of the will of the people.

That is precisely what the right-leaning coalition in Israel is attempting to achieve and what the current U.S.administration is so against—a court assembled and serving the will of the people.

Israeli leaders are seeking to change the structure of the high court, so it is reflective of the sometimes-changing will of the people. Today, and for the last few decades, the Supreme Court in Israel is a self-appointed entity, with those resigning or retiring selecting their own replacements. The will of the people, which can only be expressed in a democratic election, is completely sidestepped under the guise that the elite leftists know best what is good for the country regardless of how the people vote.

Here in the U.S. last week Joe Biden said that the current composition of the U.S. Supreme Court “is not a normal court.”

For her part, the extremely unaccomplished New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, said earlier this week that she would like to see Congress consider impeachment hearings for some members of the court. Those, of course, would be the jurists she doesn’t agree with.

Sometimes it’s easy to get a sense that those handling Mr. Biden from behind the scenes (Barack Obama) are envious of leaders like Vladimir Putin, President Xi, and others like Volodymyr Zelenskyy. This week Zelenskyy announced that there will be no new elections in Ukraine so long as the war goes on. Aside from the billions of dollars involved, there’s another reason to continue fighting and having your people killed on a wholesale level.

So you see the fashion in which the U.S. Supreme Court is structured is exactly what the Biden folks do not want to see happen in Israel. The idea of having issues considered and adjudicated according to the law—that is, the way in which a Supreme Court is supposed to function—is being thrown out the window in deference to political partisanship.

Frankly, it’s disturbing to have to be told in any case that comes before any court about which president appointed the judge overseeing said case. The idea that Donald Trump has a judge he appointed to the bench overseeing his top-secret-documents case in Florida should really not be relevant. I believe we would like to know what the law is and Trump’s rights—or lack thereof—to the documents.

Why is who appointed the judge presiding over any particular case such major news? Can’t we just know what the law is and have it applied accordingly?

Let’s try to get this straight. Joe Biden (Barack Obama) is upset and said that he is even angry that the current high court is not reflective enough of his administration’s outlook on vital issues like abortion, affirmative action, and excusing almost a half-trillion dollars in student loans. On another level, what this means is that if you borrowed money from a bank to buy a business or study a trade, those loans have to be repaid. If, however, you managed to get government financing to go to Harvard or any other higher level educational institution then that money, Mr. Biden says, should not have to be repaid.

The idea was proposed by Mr. Biden just prior to the 2022 midterm elections as a way to induce people to vote for Democrats, and to an extent the strategy worked; as you see, the Democrats retained control of the Senate while the Republicans have a razor-thin majority in the House.

All Israel wants today is for the courts to apply the law to reflect the will of the people. That’s what Biden would prefer for himself. But when it comes to Israel, he refuses to extend an invitation to Netanyahu to visit the White House as a protest for the way his coalition wants to redo the judiciary system in Israel. In Israel there are street protests encouraged by the U.S. and affiliated groups attempting to bring the U.S. brand of street chaos to Israel.

It seems now that Mr. Netanyahu will be backing down from his coalition’s demands that the court not solely represent the sentiments of the elites and is instead a product crafted together by the people elected to office. Israeli society is currently running the risk of falling apart if an effective compromise cannot be reached.

That may be the crux of the problem. The left in Israel is so accustomed to having things their way; combined with the knowledge that they have the support of the U.S. and Europe, it is difficult if not impossible for them to back down.

The question that needs to be addressed in a democracy—both in the U.S. and Israel—is: What do the people want? It’s important that we not lose sight of the fact that these elected officials are there to serve us and that they are paid by “we, the people.”

The courts are very often the arbiter between government and the people. If you want to shape the courts at any level to side with your philosophies and beliefs, that’s where corruption begins.

Larry Gordon is editor in chief of the Five Towns Jewish Times.