Supreme Court Strikes Down ‘Born In Jerusalem’ Passport Law


ari-zivotofsky-passportThe Supreme Court struck down a disputed law today that would have allowed Americans born in Jerusalem to list their birthplace as Israel on their U.S. passports in an important ruling that underscores the president’s authority in foreign affairs, the AP reports.

The court ruled 6-3 that Congress overstepped its bounds when it approved the law in 2002. It would have forced the State Department to alter its long-standing policy of not listing Israel as the birthplace for Jerusalem-born Americans and listing only “Jerusalem.”

The policy is part of the government’s refusal to recognize any nation’s sovereignty over Jerusalem, until Israelis and Palestinians resolve its status through negotiations.

Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his majority opinion that the president has the exclusive power to recognize foreign nations, and that the power to determine what a passport says is part of this power.

The ruling ends a 12-year-old lawsuit by a Jerusalem-born American, Menachem Zivotofsky, and his U.S. citizen parents.



  1. What’s President Obama’s next step? Have all Jews born in Israel marked as Palestinian in origin?
    His loathing of Prime Minister Netanyahu and all things Israeli, be they large or small, is relentless.
    If Israel wants to be Obama’s friend they’ll need to change… the name of their country. “Iran” or “Russia” will do nicely.

  2. Anyone surprised ??

    ALL 3 jewish [by birth anyhow] justices voted against Israel

    including Kegan…who when she was nominated 5 years ago ,we heard paeans of praise of her

  3. Had OU & co. ‘Expressed Disappointment’ when Kegan , Breyer or Ginsburg were being nominated,

    the world would probably be a different [i.e. better] place today

  4. Sorry, folks. But this is not the burning hot issue facing the Jewish people today.

    And as for Commenter #1, this lawsuit preceded President Obama. This has been the position of the State Department since 1967. I don’t like it but stop blaming Obama for everything you don’t like.

    Finally, if you’re so concerned, make Aliyah! Stop kvetching about the “status” of Jerusalem from your computer screens in Boro Park and Teaneck.

  5. This is not a disgrace and it has nothing to do with Israel. The issue was the simple one of whether the Constitution allows the Congress to micromanage the executive branch’s conduct of foreign policy. The only surprise here is that the vote wasn’t unanimous.

    And less you Obamahaters get off on this, George W. Bush agrees with Obama on this. In fact Bush publicly announced that he would not obey this law when he signed it.

    Obama is the 12th US President — 6 Republicans and 6 Democrats — to hold this position regarding the *de jure* status of Jerusalem.

  6. Doesn’t any and every sovereign country have the right to declare its own capitol? Especially when the seat of their government is there? Why should Israel be any different?

  7. I agree with comment #5. Uppity Jews who don’t know their place need to pack their bags and get out of our country. We real Americans are sick and tired of these dual-loyalty Obamahaters.

  8. “Real Americans” subscribe to the Constitution and Bill of Rights which allow one to dislike the President (yes, really) and to voice such dislike in public forums. You too have a right to gush over Obama and his policies that only benefit his fellow-black Americans, however misguided and hateful they are to the rest of Americans.

  9. The only ones who should “pack their bags and get out of our country” are all of the illegal immigrants that are being shielded and harbored by Obama. Oh-don’t tell me, you agree with this policy, as well? Or if you disagree, then shouldn’t YOU TOO be packing your bags and leaving?