Yielding to president’s call for compromise, Netanyahu cancels planned votes on judicial reform

Netanyahu government drops two judicial reform measures from Knesset’s agenda Wednesday amid calls for dialogue with the Opposition and talks for compromise.

By World Israel News Staff

Two bills included in the Netanyahu government’s judicial reform plan were dropped from the Knesset plenum’s agenda Wednesday afternoon, cancelling planned votes.

The Knesset plenum had been slated Wednesday afternoon to vote on the two bills, but both pieces of legislation were withdrawn from consideration at the last minute by their drafters.

The bills included the so-called “Aryeh Deri Law 2,” which would limit the Supreme Court’s ability to strike down government appointments, enabling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reappoint former Interior Minister and Shas party chairman Aryeh Deri.

Deri was fired from the government last month, after the Supreme Court ruled 10-to-1 that his appointment violated the reasonableness standard.

The second bill, known as the Override Clause, would amend the country’s Basic Laws, allowing the Knesset to veto rulings by the Supreme Court that overturn laws passed by the legislature.

In a statement released Wednesday, coalition chairman Ofir Katz cited President Isaac Herzog’s plea Sunday evening for dialogue between the Coalition and the Opposition, and called for a compromise between the two sides on the contentious judicial reform plan.

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Lapid: ‘We succeeded’

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid hailed Wednesday’s announcement as a partial victory for opponents of the judicial reform plan.

“Every person who left their home to demonstrate with a flag and a sign can tell themselves that we fought together and we succeeded in delaying this bill which would crush democracy, which will not be brought for a vote today in the Knesset plenum.”

But the plan’s two primary authors – Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chairman MK Simcha Rothman (Religious Zionist Party) and Justice Minister Yariv Levin (Likud) – downplayed the significance of the decision to cancel the two votes Wednesday.

“The laws that were taken off today’s agenda are not related to the judicial reform plan which is being handled by the Constitution Committee. They were removed based on the decisions of the MKs who drafted them.”

“The passage of the judicial reform plan will continue without delay,” they said. “The Constitution Committee will continue its deliberations as planned on Sunday. Next Monday, the bill approved by the committee will go up for its first vote [in the Knesset plenum], as planned.”