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Zivitofsky and the Politics of Passports

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

John Torpey*
Affiliation:
Graduate Center, City University of New York Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies
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In Zivotofsky v. Kerry, the Supreme Court addressed the constitutionality of a 2002 law, Section 214(d) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003, which required consular officials to mark the word “Israel” as the birthplace of U.S. citizens who were born in Jerusalem if they requested that designation. The U.S. State Department refused to comply, pursuant to a policy of neutrality by the executive branch of the U.S. government concerning sovereignty over the much-contested city. The parents of a boy born in Jerusalem sued in federal court to see the law enforced. In its decision, the court found that Section 214(d) was an unconstitutional usurpation by Congress of the President’s exclusive authority to recognize foreign governments. The policy of official U.S. neutrality in regard to sovereignty over Jerusalem was upheld.

Type
Agora: Reflections on Zivotofsky v. Kerry
Copyright
Copyright © American Society of International Law 2015

References

1 Zivotofsky ex rel. Zivotofsky v. Kerry, 135 S.Ct. 2076 (2015).

2 Statement on Signing the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003, 2 Pub. Papers 1698 (Sep. 30, 2002)Google Scholar.

3 De Tocqueville, Alexis, Democracy in America 110 (1835)Google Scholar.

4 Urtetiqui v. D’Arcy, 34 U.S. 692, 699 (1835).

5 Arango, Tim, Building on its Brutal Origins, ISIS Steps into a Leadership Void, Int’l N.Y. Times, July, 11-12, 2015 Google Scholar.

6 Sherman, Mark, US Supreme Court: Jerusalem-Born Americans Can’t List Israel as Birthplace, Times Isr., June 8, 2015 Google Scholar.

7 Lerner, Adam B., Supreme Court Sides with Obama Administration in Jerusalem Passport Case, Politico, 8 July 2015 Google Scholar.

8 Ain, Stuart, Suit: U.S. Discriminates Against Jerusalem in Passport Dispute, Jewish Wk. (New York), Aug. 2, 2011 Google Scholar.

9 Howe, Amy, Jerusalem Passport Case Divides Court: In Plain English, SCOTUSBlog, (Nov. 24, 2014 Google Scholar; 7:55 AM).

10 Id.

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