Jun 23, 2009

Religious discrimination in the courts

Being nominated to the Supreme Court in Israel is nothing like in the United States. Who doesn't remember the process as it took place when Robert Bork was nominated? the nominee has to be vetted and then the Judiciary Committee has to approve it, then the Senate votes on it after having hearings to squeeze out all the nominees possible opinions on anything from abortion to his favorite flavor of ice cream.

In Israel there is a Knesset committee that recommends nominees to the Justice Minister who passes the recommendation on to the Supreme Court President. They have a couple internal votes of various combinations of the committee and Supreme Court and that is it. All very internal.

The recent right-wing "takeover" of the judicial appointee committee has made a lot of people in the "elite" nervous, worried that they will appoint right-wing judges to the Court, as if only the left are allowed to sit in the Supreme Court.

Looks like they had what to fear.

The committee has made their first set of recommendations, recommending four religious judges to the Court. I do not know the qualifications of these judges or their opinions, so I am not commenting on the specific judges, but am assuming they are all qualified as far as their level of legal expertise and experience goes.

Religious judges, religious people in general, are stereotyped as to being right-wing. It is often true, and might be true in the case of thee four judges as well - I don't know. Right-wing opinion is underrepresented on the Supreme Court, and religious opinion is also underrepresented on the Supreme Court. This would go a long way in presenting some balance.

Supreme Court President Justice Beinish has immediately rejected the recommendations.
(source: Ynet)

Obviously if her reasons for rejecting and fighting these nominations are simply because of their religious lifestyle and/or right-wing beliefs, it is a further sign and proof of the elitist status of the courts.

Wouldn't it be ironic if one of the candidates sued the Court for religious discrimination over this?

The cracks in the hold of the left-wing elite on Israeli are beginning to widen.


  1. "Wouldn't it be ironic if one of the candidates sued the Court for religious discrimination over this?"

    But would Beinish recuse herself...?

  2. This is supposed to take the politics out of the process :)

  3. B"H

    Hope you're right about those "cracks."


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