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Knesset approves first reading of ‘reasonableness’ bill, 64 to 56; opposition chants: ‘Shame’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and Justice Minister Yariv Levin pictured as the Knesset approves the first reading of the "reasonableness" bill, early on July 11, 2023 (Knesset Channel screenshot)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and Justice Minister Yariv Levin pictured as the Knesset approves the first reading of the "reasonableness" bill, early on July 11, 2023 (Knesset Channel screenshot)

The Knesset approves the “reasonableness” bill, a part of its planned judicial overhaul, in its first reading.

The bill passes 64-56 — with all members of the governing coalition voting in favor, and all members of the opposition voting against.

Coalition members clap hands, and Justice Minister Yariv Levin is embraced by National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir.

The result is met with repeated cries of “shame” from the opposition benches. Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana orders all opposition MKs who stood and shouted “shame” to be temporarily removed from the chamber.

Opposition MKs shout ‘Shame’ as the Knesset approves the first reading of the “reasonableness” bill, early on July 11, 2023 (Knesset channel screenshot)

The bill now goes back to the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, where it will be prepared for its second and third (final) readings. The coalition aims to get it enacted into law before the Knesset breaks for the summer recess at the end of the month.

The committee is set to meet tomorrow to begin that process.

The bill’s brief text completely bars courts from using the reasonableness test to invalidate or even discuss decisions made by the cabinet, ministers, and “other elected officials, as set by law.”

The Knesset approves the first reading of the “reasonableness” bill, early on July 12, 2023 (Knesset channel screenshot)

The bill is the first part of the coalition’s judicial overhaul package to advance since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suspended the legislative blitz in late March.

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