Weekly Commentary: The "Legal Gatekeepers Cannot Protect Us From Minister
Regev's Bad Decisions
Dr. Aaron Lerner 11 January, 2022
Miri Regev did a terrible job the first time she served as minister of
transportation so it came as no surprise that Binyamin Netanyahu tried to
entice her to accept a different portfolio this time.
But Netanyahu failed.
So the first thing Regev did was act to kill the bus lanes on major roads
because its annoying for car drivers to see buses whizzing by while which
they sit in the daily commuter's traffic jams.
Never mind that Regev's own Ministry of Transportation has documented the
fantastic success of the bus lanes (the buses using the special lane carry
more than TWICE the number of passengers sitting in the other lanes). Regev
is a populist and she apparently has a lot of supporters sitting in those
cars who are annoyed to watch the buses whizzing by.
Regev wants to postpone the Metro project that will serve the ten million
people who will be living in Greater Tel Aviv until bike lanes and other
projects are completed in the hinterlands. She argues that the light rail
Green Line, which has a capacity to carry 275,000 passengers over the course
of the entire day (that's less than 36,000 in a two hour rush hour period)
And there's more.
But that's not why I am writing about Miri Regev today.
I am taking Miri Regev as an example of a minister who can make profoundly
terrible decisions without violating a law.
It is not up to some Ministry of Transportation legal advisor to tell her
that she LEGALLY cannot make these terrible decisions.
Nor is it up to the Supreme Court to rule that it is not "reasonable" for
the Minister of Transportation to screw up transportation today and for the
This isn't something for the "legal gatekeepers" to solve.
Its for the political system to deal with.
So either Prime Minister Netanyahu opts to overrule Regev or the Likud pays
the price at the voting booth.
This Saturday night there will be people protesting that the Supreme Court
should be able to void perfectly legal bad decisions by ministers because
they are not "reasonable".
These people also think that an independent legal advisor in a ministry
should also be able to prevent ministers from making legal but stupid
But as much as I want to see Miri Regev's program derailed, I do not want to
sacrifice our democratic rule to achieve that.
So count me out this Saturday night.
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