On Sunday, October 26, a key ministerial committee of the Knesset voted to approve a controversial bill which would allow the legislature to override rulings by Israel’s Supreme Court striking down laws as unconstitutional. The proposed legislation was approved by a vote of eight to three in the committee. Right-wing ministers from Habayit Hayehudi, Yisrael Beiteinu, and the Likud supported the motion. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni of the Hatnuah party who heads the committee opposed the measure, as did the two ministers from Yesh Atid.
If the bill, proposed by MK Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi), is passed by the Knesset, lawmakers are expected to use it to reenact a law which permits African asylum seekers to be held indefinitely at a detention facility in the south of Israel. Last month, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that such a law violates Israel’s Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) opposed the legislation, saying “the law is not only an attack on the court, but a direct attack on the basic rights of every citizen.”