'Given close proximity of new elections, it would be gratuitous for court to now decide issues raised by petitions,' judges state.
Supreme Court Judges Noam Solberg, George Kara, and Yosef Elron today rejected petitions by the Movement for Quality Government and Adv. Raful Shafik demanding that Netanyahu resign and order the Attorney General to declare Netanyahu's incapacity.
The petition asked the Supreme Court justices in addition to order Netanyahu to resign as Health Minister, Labor, Social Welfare, and Social Services Minister, Diaspora Minister, and Acting Agriculture and Rural Development Minister.
In the decision the judges ruled the petitions be dismissed outright, "both because of failure to exhaust due process, and because the issues do not require adjudication at this time."
In the main opinion, Judge Elron wrote that while the petitioners did indeed exhaust due process and contacted Netanyahu and the Attorney General before submitting the petitions, however, he said, "they only did so flimsily, to discharge their duty alone, and did not wait a reasonable time for a responce to their request.
"In these circumstances, where the petitioners did not leave the respondents with reasonable time required to examine and formulate their claims, the petitioners' early appeal to the respondents should not be considered as a significant exhaustion of due process," Elron stated.
Elron accepted the Attorney General's position that in view of the Knesset's dissolution, there is now no reason to debate whether a prime minister who has been indicted must resign: "As we know, last night's second and third reading of the Knesset bill for dissolution and advancing elections 5780/2019, following which it informed the public of the new elections to the Twenty-third Knesset in two-and-a-half months. In these circumstances, in view of the holding of new elections, the outcome of which is unknown, it would be gratuitous for the court now decide on the issues raised in the petitions."
At the conclusion, the judge wrote that in light of Netanyahu's announcement that he intended to resign from his position as minister by January 1, the need to discuss this issue arises. Elron also, exceptionally, determined that Adv. Shafik and the Movement for Quality Government will separately pay NIS 3,000 in expenses to Netanyahu and the Attorney General, each.
The Movement for Quality Government responded: "Prime Minister Netanyahu announced he would resign as minister due to the Movement for Quality Government's petition. We accept the court's decision, but in light of the fact that this petition partially achieved its purpose, we shall seek further review of the ruling."