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Is Israel More Constitutionally Observant Than America?

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26.10.2020

So who has the superior system of constitutional law, the US or Israel. In Israel, there are fears that a nationalist religious government could take over the Court by skewing the committee that makes appointments. Or by passing an override law which would allow a Knesset majority to overrule Supreme Court decisions affecting civil rights. Further, Israel’s constitutional jurisprudence is a recent innovation. Israel had no formal system of constitutional law until the United Mizrachi Bank decision in the 1990s. At that point the Israeli Court first held that the Basic Laws, particularly the Basic Law: Human Freedom and Dignity, were a charter of freedom that could be used to invalidate inconsistent acts of the Knesset. So the Court could hold that, for instance, the law exempting religious students from the draft violated the rights of others. This relatively recent and potentially fragile development in Israel has engendered intense political opposition that could result in the Knesset negating the Court.

In contrast, the US Court asserted the authority to engage in Judicial review long ago, in 1803. The U.S. Constitution is explicit that it contains a charter of rights, and that it is to........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)


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