Egypt’s highest body of judges slammed on Saturday a recent decision by the president to grant himself near-absolute power, calling the move an “unprecedented assault” on the judiciary.

In a statement carried on Egypt’s official MENA news agency, the Supreme Judicial Council condemned this week’s declaration by President Mohammed Morsi placing his decrees above judicial review until a new constitution and parliament is in place, several months if not more in the future.

Their condemnation of the president’s edicts are the latest blow to Morsi, whose decision Thursday set off a firestorm of controversy and prompted tens of thousands of people to take to the streets in nationwide protests Friday.

Through their statement, the judges join a widening list of leaders and activists from Egypt’s political factions, including some Islamists, who have denounced the decree.

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