Dec. 15. 1999 Arutz-7
The Knesset granted Supreme Court Chief Justice Aharon Barak a significant victory last night, when it endorsed the need for judicial review. MKs Dan Meridor (Centrist), Amnon Rubenstein (Meretz), and Ophir Pines-Paz (Labor) sponsored a resolution stipulating that the Knesset recognizes the democratic need for judicial review by the Supreme Court on laws passed by the Knesset, if they are in opposition to Basic Laws. The 36-27 vote was a reversal of a resolution accepted by the Knesset two weeks ago—by a 14-10 vote—calling on the Court not to interfere with the status quo in matters of politics, religion or values.
Former Justice Minister Meridor, one of the sponsors, said that it is “less a matter of judicial activism and more of parliamentary passivism,” and that the Knesset will now be forced to take up the slack and legislate a Constitution for the country. Deputy Education Minister Sha'ul Yahalom explained why the NRP supported the resolution: “Although the specifics of the proposal are problematic in terms of our principles, yet the issue has become a focal point of the clash between hareidim and Zionism, and we therefore wanted to express symbolically and declaratively our Zionistic outlook on the issue.”