The Knesset Ministerial Committee on Legislation passed a bill proposed by MK Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) that seeks to amend the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom to enable the Knesset to reenact laws overruled by the High Court for a period of four years.
Eight ministers supported the passing of the bill. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni announced she would file an appeal to the government.
The bill aiming to limit the high court's power was proposed by Shaked after the High Court overruled her Infiltration Bill that aimed to allow Israel to detain asylum seekers indefinitely. Shaked called the overruling, "a red card the High Court issued to the Knesset."
After the ministers voted in favor of the bill, MK Shaked stated, "With the overruling of the Infiltration Bill, President of the High Court Asher Grunis implored his counterparts to take the reins of legislation in Israel in their hands, so as not to cause a breakdown in relations between the government and the Knesset."
"If there is a fundamental disagreement between the judges appointed and elected officials regarding whether a specific law is befitting of the country's values or not, or whether it is proportionate or not, the public's value should prevail and determine," Shaked said.
Livni made it clear she fiercly opposed the bill during the hearing. "The Basic Law cannot be altered by private legislation," she said.
Deputy Attorney General Orit Koren said, "The proposal disrupts the structure of the separation of power, checks and balances. This allows the Knesset to promote any legislation that comes to mind." Koren represented the stance of Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein who was against the proposal, saying it violates democratic principles.
Shaked said at the time, "We are once again witnessing a manipulation of the bill's goals, it is not intended to limit the authority of the court, but to prevent the court from continuing to limit the authority of the Knesset – the house of representatives expressing the will of the people working to protect all minority groups."
Last week, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein announced he was fiercely against the amendment to the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom. "The position of the attorney general is to firmly oppose the passing of this bill," the attorney general's office said.
"This is mainly for the reason that the proposed arrangement permits the Knesset to infringe on the rights of the individual without significant restrictions or procedures, aside from the feeble demand for support of 61 Knesset members to reenact a law," Weinstein said.