Israeli Supreme Court Hears Opening Arguments On “Reasonableness” Law

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For the first time Israel’s history, all 15 members of the country’s Supreme Court were present for the opening arguments against the “reasonableness” law passed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government in July.  The measure limits the court’s ability to overturn government decisions it deems as “unreasonable” according to Israel’s “Basic Laws”  derived from its Declaration of Independence.  Netanyahu’s government said the measure limits the abuse of power by an unelected judiciary, while opponents say that it removes an important governmental oversight.  The issue has divided Israelis for months with regular demonstrations disrupting daily activities.  Even some reservists have stopped reporting for duty which Netanyahu’s government says undermines Israel’s national security.  Government representative Ilan Bombach summed up the case saying, “The cardinal question here is who has the last word.”  Analysts say there is still time for both sides to reach an agreement with the court possibly ruling as late as January.