Coalition Signs Bill to Block High Court Ruling, Reinstate Deri


By Hamodia Staff

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu enters his car after he visited the home of then-Minister Rabbi Aryeh Deri, Jan. 18. (REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

Members of the coalition government unanimously signed a new law Tuesday to enable Shas chairman MK Rabbi Aryeh Deri to be reinstated as minister, a source in Shas stated.

The law recommends blocking the High Court’s prerogative to restrict the prime minister’s right to appoint ministers.

This law would allow Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to reappoint Rabbi Deri, after the court on Jan. 18 ruled that he must fire him from his ministerial positions.

The High Court has never blocked amendments to Basic Laws, the form in which the proposal is being made, but has said in the past that it has the power to do so if the Knesset acts irresponsibly, abusing its legislative power.

In the event of an appeal, the court will for the first time formally address the question of what constitutes an abuse of power, and whether a constitutional amendment intended to enable a specific individual to serve is valid.

The coalition thus is hoping that the fact that the entire coalition supports the bill will dissuade the court from blocking it.

The bill’s text says:

“There will not be judicial review by any level of court about any matter connected to, or resulting from, the appointing a minister and removing him from his position, save for the appointment meeting the conditions of eligibility set out in section 6a and 6c alone.”

The sections referred to require the minister to be a resident and citizen of the State of Israel, and that if he was convicted of a crime involving “moral turpitude” must wait seven years to serve as a minister. 

The accompanying explanatory text states that the appointment and removal of ministers is at the “heart of democratic activity,” and therefore should not be subject to judicial review.

The law would prevent the court from applying the test of “reasonableness,” as it did in disqualifying Rabbi Deri. Only the qualifications written explicitly in the law would be applicable.

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