Tuesday Briefing

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.Credit…Pool photo by Menahem Kahana

Israel’s top court rejects law limiting judiciary

In a momentous 8-to-7 ruling that could ignite a constitutional crisis, Israel’s Supreme Court struck down a law passed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government in July to limit the court’s own powers. The law would have barred judges from overruling decisions made by government ministers. Read the latest news.

The decision is likely to rekindle the grave domestic situation that began a year ago over the government’s judicial overhaul plan — which sparked mass protests that brought the country to a near standstill at times — even as Israel is at war in Gaza. The ruling heralds a potential showdown between the top judicial authority and the ruling coalition. Here’s what the justices wrote.

In a country that has one house of Parliament, no formal written constitution and a largely ceremonial president, many defenders of Israel’s liberal democracy view the Supreme Court as the only bulwark against government power.

Background: Netanyahu’s governing coalition, the most right-wing and religiously conservative in Israel’s history, has argued that the Supreme Court has overreached its authority and subverted the will of the voters and the function of the elected government.

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