Right-wing lawmakers blast Supreme Court ruling claiming right to change Basic Law

“The court overstepped its authority with an outrageous ruling that constitutes one more step on the path to a judicial coup,” Ayelet Shaked declared.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Prominent right-wing lawmakers, including Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin of Likud and Yemina’s Ayelet Shaked, expressed outrage on Sunday evening after Israel’s Supreme Court announced a ruling that came close to overturning a Basic Law.

In a 6-3 decision, the Court wrote that a quasi-constitutional Basic Law passed by the Knesset last year, which permitted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to continue funding state agencies without a formally approved state budget, was a “misuse of the Knesset’s authority.”

The so-called “Hauser Compromise” law was created in order to maintain funding to necessary state services when the Knesset failed to pass a state budget.

The Court chided the members of the Knesset for passing the legislation for “convenience” and stated that they reserved the right to overturn such laws in the future when they see fit.

New Hope party chair Gideon Sa’ar slammed the ruling on Twitter, bemoaning the fact that Israel does not have a clear separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches, leading to grey areas that can be exploited.

“The constitutional rules must be set by the Knesset, as representative of the sovereign [people], and not by the court. And the sooner the better,” he wrote.

While Ayelet Shaked, a former justice minister, said she believed the law in question was “a gimmick that should never have happened,” she warned that the ruling set a dangerous precedent for the future.

“The court overstepped its authority with an outrageous ruling that constitutes one more step on the path to a judicial coup,” she wrote on Twitter.

“The High Court decision to issue a ‘notice of invalidation’ to a Basic Law is a decision without any authority. It’s shocking,” Levin wrote on the social media platform.

Echoing Shaked’s warning, he wrote that the ruling is “an insane event in which six people are wrapping themselves in judicial robes in order to carry out a coup.”

Calling the move an “attempt to cancel our democracy,” Levin pledged that he would “defend the stature and authority of the Knesset.”

Left-wing Meretz chair Nitzan Horowitz blasted Levin, calling his statement against the ruling “shocking” and criticizing him for referring to the decision as a coup.

“The Knesset is not functioning,” Horowitz wrote. “And all because of the survival tricks of a prime minister who is on trial for serious criminal offenses – that is what is crazy here. The Supreme Court is the last finger in the dam.”