REASONABLENESS BILL PASSES: 1st Step In Curbing Supreme Court’s Excessive Power

Israel's Supreme Court.

The reasonableness bill was passed by the Knesset on Monday afternoon following a siege on the Knesset by anarchists.

The bill was passed 64-0 as the opposition members boycotted the vote by leaving the Knesset.

The bill revokes the reasonableness clause, which allowed Supreme Court justices to knock down any law passed by the Knesset as long as it is “reasonable” in their view – which lent them excessive power over the elected government, unparalleled in any democracy in the world.

Despite that fact, the left engaged in endless prevarications, claiming that the revocation of the reasonableness clause will lead to all types of nebulous doomsday scenarios, including the end of Israeli democracy [as if Israel wasn’t a democracy before the early 1990s, when Aharon Barak single-handedly perpetrated a judicial revolution, turning Israel’s Supreme Court into the most activist court in the world].

Justice Minister Yariv Levin spoke from the plenum prior to the vote, saying: “There is not even one example in the world of a blanket reasonableness clause, which completely replaces the discretion of elected officials with the discretion of the judges.”

Signs seen at the right-wing protest on Sunday evening. (Photo: Eugene Kontorovich/Twitter)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Justice Minister Yariv Levin prior to the vote. (Knesset Channel)

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. If the opposition decides to waive their right to vote, then all they have accomplished to let this law pass unanimously without a single dissenting vote. One might argue that alone should make this an actual “basic law” requiring a super majority to change.

  2. 64 in favor and 0 opposing is quite impressive indeed. Not one disseting vote! That’s a record! One big win for democracy. The will of the people prevails.

  3. Utterly insane. What does he even mean?! Of course the US Supreme Court can knock down any law that’s unconstitutional. Is the US a democracy? Why is this different? If you don’t like reasonableness and want to make a constitution ok. But in the US, constitutional ammendments take much more than a simple majority to make. They need a referendum to make something like this.

  4. It is completely unreasonable to give unelected judges who are not accountable to the Israeli public or their elected representatives the ability to strike down any law they want by claiming the law is unreasonable. It is reasonable to pass a law to prevent that from happening.

  5. In the USA, the Supreme Court can cancel a law if it contradicts The Constitution.

    In Israel, the Supreme Court can cancel any law, simply because they don’t like it.

  6. @domenick00 he was being ironic

    @Dan the The US supreme court can only strike down laws that they interpret are not in the constitution. Israel’s SC ability to strike down laws they seem “unreasonable” is unprecedented in Western democracies.

    Reasonableness is a term from civil equitable law, and has never been used in any other country to pass judgement and overrule laws created by an elected government.

    The very term is nebulous, entirely subjective, itself inequitable, and was a travesty and insult to the populace who elected MKs to make law, not unelectable judges.

    This was long overdue, and it’s a crying shame the opposition couldn’t compromise and make peace at least on this bill and pass it unanimously, but that’s politics…

  7. The Israeli Supreme Court appoints judges not based on a Senate hearing and exhaustive vetting as in the USA, with the majority of the Senate having the upper hand, but internally, by the existing Supreme Court Judges themselves .Basically, they recommend and appoint new justices based on the the prevailing bias of the governing body. That would make the supreme court with an unending, biased agenda, to keep the secular Isareli policies, which lost inthe last election.
    With the increase in Chareidi and orthodox population, controlling the Supreme Court is their last grasp at holding onto secularism in Israel.

  8. @ Dan The – It is different, in fact, it is VERY different. Israel does not have a constitution. There is, therefore, no “reasonable” criteria or conditions for rejecting a law passed.

  9. There needs to be a check on the government. Now the Supreme Couet uses unreasonableness. If the right wants to write a constitution giving US citizens the type of rights thay they have in the US then they can be left to rule on unconstitutional. But in Israel there is no constitution and, even worse, one party can coerce the rest to accept ridiculous proposals or threaten the leave the coalition. Who can stop the government from forcing a web designer to design a wedding website like the US Supreme Court did this year? The Israeli Supremely Court ruling on these things isn’t against democracy. It’s the very essence of it.

  10. “Their last graps on holding onto secularism in Israel?”. Are you serious?! Do you think Israel should be a religious (and not secular) state?! Do you understand how much of a disaster that would be?!

  11. I’m back. Alright, let’s take care of business: domenick00 proves what I’ve always said about idiots:
    a) they are all apikorsim. They don’t believe in Hashem. At least not the Hashem of the Torah, an all-powerful, omniscient, unlimited being with full control over everything that happens in the world. Their god is Schumer or FDR. Maybe even Nadler? Or Tlaib or AOC?
    b) they are dumb like a bucket.
    c) they have no sense of humor or any capacity to understand irony or sarcasm, whatsoever (similar to point b).

  12. @Dan the “There needs to be a check on the government” yes but only to check it’s operating within the law.

    For those countries like the USA which have a constitution, much of what their SC decides is whether laws fit the constitution.

    There is absolutely no need for a country to have a constitution in order to have a supreme court. The UK has no constitution and its SC role is to check if the government has acted within existing laws and treaties. If the government creates a new law, no matter how “unreasonable” the SC cannot overrule it. (And its upper house cannot reject laws ,only delay by a year.)

    This power of the SC to overrule based on what judges deem “unreasonable” is a recent invention, and a terrible one that’s far worse than no SC at all.

    In a country like Israel which has proportional representation, (unlike first-past-the-post like the UK or a electoral college like USA) you can only hold a coalition together and pass laws if all the coalition parties agree, and yet after entire elected governments spent years passing new laws the SC unilaterally overruled.

    Yes, the whole system ideally should be looked at, and it shouldn’t (and isn’t, even after these changes) be possible for government to make laws that are abhorrent but if Israel needs some form of upper house, or reformed SC with judges that reflect the electorate, or a constitution, or whatever then that’s a process that may finally start now, after the power grap of the SC has been correctly reversed.

  13. In the USA, the Supreme Court can cancel a law IF, and only if, it CONTRADICTS The Constitution.

    In Israel, the Supreme Court can cancel ANY law, simply because they don’t like it.

    Stated another way:

    The USA’s Supreme Court can cancel a law, if there is a LEGAL basis for them to do so. Israel’s Supreme Court can cancel ANY law, even if there is NO LEGAL BASIS for them to do so, simply because they want to. THAT, by definition, is abuse of power. The fact there is no constitution is not a loophole justifying that.

  14. Israel is the only Country in the world where the (unelected) Judiciary is more powerful than (elected) Govt. Until Today!

    Kudos to Bibi for telling Biden to mind his own business.