Quantcast
Connect with us

Supreme Court to review ‘born in Jerusalem’ passport law

Published

on

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to weigh the constitutionality of a law that was designed to allow American citizens born in Jerusalem – the historic holy city claimed by Israelis and Palestinians – to have Israel listed as their birthplace on passports.

The case concerns a long-standing U.S. foreign policy that the president – and not Congress – has sole authority to state who controls Jerusalem. Seeking to remain neutral on the hotly contested issue, the U.S. State Department allows passports to name Jerusalem as a place of birth, but no country name is included.

ADVERTISEMENT

The State Department, which issues passports and reports to the president, has declined to enforce the law passed by Congress in 2002, saying it violated the separation of executive and legislative powers laid out in the U.S. Constitution.

In court papers, President Barack Obama’s administration said taking sides on the issue could “critically compromise the ability of the United States to work with Israelis, Palestinians and others in the region to further the peace process.”

The government has noted that U.S. citizens born in other places in the region where sovereignty has not been established, including the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, are similarly prevented from stating a country of birth on their passports.

In 2003, Ari and Naomi Zivotofsky, the parents of U.S. citizen Menachem Zivotofsky, who was born in Jerusalem in 2002, filed a lawsuit seeking to enforce the law. They would like their son’s passport to say he was born in Israel.

Since the founding of Israel in 1948, U.S. presidents have declined to state a position on the status of Jerusalem, leaving it as one of the thorniest issues to be resolved in possible future Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

ADVERTISEMENT

When Republican President George W. Bush signed the 2002 law as part of a broader foreign affairs bill, he said that if construed as mandatory rather than advisory, it would “impermissibly interfere” with the president’s authority to speak for the country on international affairs.

The issue reached the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 on the preliminary question of whether it was so political that it did not belong in the courts. The high court ruled 8-1 that the case could proceed, setting up a July 2013 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that struck the law down.

An estimated 50,000 American citizens were born in Jerusalem and could, if they requested it, list Israel as their birthplace if the law was enforced.

ADVERTISEMENT

While Israel calls Jerusalem its capital, few other countries accept that status. Most, including the United States, maintain their embassies to Israel in Tel Aviv. Palestinians want East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in a 1967 war, as capital of the state they aim to establish alongside Israel in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Oral arguments and a decision are due in the court’s next term, which begins in October and ends in June 2015.

ADVERTISEMENT

The case is Zivotofsky v. Kerry, U.S. Supreme Court, 13-628.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham and Andrea Ricci)

ADVERTISEMENT

Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘They’re terrified’: MSNBC contributor reveals GOPer’s are running scared of Trump despite bogus ‘heads on pikes’ outrage

Published

on

Appearing on MSNBC's "AM Joy" Esquire editor-at-large Charles Pierce explained that he was in attendance when Republican lawmakers professed outrage at Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) after he noted a CBS report that stated they are under threat from Donald Trump aides that he will see their heads on "pikes" if they cross him.

According to Pierce, they are, in fact, "terrified" that the president might one day turn on them.

Speaking with host Joy Reid, the popular Esquire columnist ridiculed the Republican senators for the position they have found themselves in by supporting the president.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump defense team’s two most ‘egregious constitutional claims’ blown up by law professor: They ‘have impeachment exactly backwards’

Published

on

Writing for Just Security on Friday, Frank O. Bowman III, a legal expert and professor at the University of Missouri School of Law, detailed two of the “more egregious constitutional claims” put forth by Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team in a trial brief filed last week.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump defender Kingston shamed into silence by MSNBC’s Joy Reid after blizzard of lies on impeachment

Published

on

MSNBC host Joy Reid showed no patience with former Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) on Sunday morning as the advocate for the re-election of Donald Trump repeatedly was called out for lying about the facts of the Ukraine corruption case against Donald Trump as well as the House impeachment trial.

Sitting on a panel with the Intercept's Mehdi Hasan, Kingston was given the first crack at addressing the defense case put forth by Trump's lawyers on the Senate floor on Saturday, only to be pulled up short by the MSNBC host after stating a falsehood, for which he received an admonishment.

With Kingston claiming Democratic members of the Senate who are currently running for their party's presidential nomination did not attend the Saturday hearing, Reid quickly cut him off.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image