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Israel’s new chief justice — the right person at the right time

Newly elected Chief of the Supreme Court Esther Hayut is the right person at the right time to withstand the aggressive forces on the political right in the battle threatening the independence of the court and Israel’s democratic values.
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Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked lost out this week in the fight over the appointment of Justice Esther Hayut as president of the country’s top court, a pick she had tried to thwart. However, Shaked intends to push ahead with her plan to curb the powers of the country’s judicial branch.

On Sept. 5, Israel’s Judicial Appointments Committee elected Justice Esther Hayut to replace retiring Chief Justice Miriam Naor as president of the Supreme Court, overriding the objections of Shaked, who heads the panel. Shaked had fought for months to abolish the principle of seniority that gives the job to the longest-serving justice on the bench.

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