The Ministerial Legislation Committee on Sunday approved a bill to allow a narrow Knesset majority to override Supreme Court rulings regarding laws deemed unconstitutional.

Bennett and Netanyahu at the Knesset assembly

Bennett and Netanyahu at the Knesset assembly Photo credit: Flash 90

Less than an hour after Israeli lawmakers voted in favor of a bill to restrict the authority of the Supreme Court, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon announced he will oppose the bill when it is presented to the Knesset later this week.

The bill, dubbed the Override Clause, proposes that the Knesset be able to approve any legislation deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court by even the narrowest majority – 61 MKs out of 120.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett, an outspoken advocate of the bill, said after Sunday’s vote, “This is a great day for Israeli democracy. We will strengthen the government’s ability to govern as well as the public’s faith in the court system.”

But Kahlon, who did not attend the vote, said the bill is “harmful to the rule of law” and “a violation of coalition agreement,” vowing to fight it in the Knesset. “We will not allow extremists to lead the agenda of the State of Israel,” he said.

If the bill becomes a law, it will allow the government to approve the forced deportation of tens of thousands of African asylum seekers from the country.