Cabinet Okays Bill to Diminish Court's Authority

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - At Sunday's Cabinet meeting, ministers passed a proposal that would allow the Knesset to re-legislate a bill the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional, thereby limiting the court's authority.

The legislation, proposed by Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann, passed by a single vote: 13-12.

All seven Labor party ministers and five from Olmert's Kadima party opposed the new bill.

"This is a turning point and an important step in strengthening the ability of the government to govern and improving the status of the Knesset," Friedmann said.

"At the same time, the bill does not cause harm to the Supreme Court, but strengthens it instead, in that for the first time in the history of the State, the court has the legitimacy to nullify laws that include a 'limitation clause.' At the same time, we must stress that despite this, the primacy of the Knesset is maintained by allowing it to examine the reasoning of the Supreme Court [in nullifying a law it passed]," he said.

Next, the bill must pass a preliminary reading in the Knesset, followed by a second and third reading before it becomes law.

The proposal generated a lot of controversy, with some saying it had the potential to violate citizens' and residents' human rights.

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