Advancing the ‘will of the people’ – Justice Minister defends judicial reform to US news

Justice Minister Yariv Levin defends judicial overhaul in 60 Minutes interview, says reform will restore balance between branches of government.

By World Israel News Staff

Justice Minister Yariv Levin, one of the chief architects of the ongoing judicial reform legislation, spoke out about the overhaul on American TV in a report broadcast on Sunday evening.

He sat down with Leslie Stahl, a longtime journalist at 60 Minutes, who grilled the lawmaker regarding the intense backlash to the overhaul and mass protests.

Levin challenged the mainstream narrative around judicial reform, which claims that limiting the powers of the Supreme Court is akin to weakening democracy.

Rather, he said, the judicial overhaul legislation aims to correct a fundamental imbalance within Israel’s branches of government, which sees the Supreme Court hold disproportionate power to veto measures supported by elected representatives.

“The situation in Israel is that the Supreme Court is above the government, is above the parliament, is even above the will of the people. What I want to do is to balance it,” Levin said.

“No democracy can accept a situation that the government, the elected government that has a majority in the parliament, won’t be able to pass any bill and to do anything because there are protests, because there are some people that are against it,” he said.

Stahl asked Levin about “homophobic and racist” statements made by current ministers in the coalition, referring to National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

She said that anti-judicial reform protesters fear that a weakened Supreme Court would be unable to stop legislation aimed at stripping rights away from Israeli citizens due to their religion or sexual orientation.

“I can assure you that the vast majority of the members of parliament that support this government stand firmly behind democratic and liberal principles,” Levin responded.