Thursday, May 5, 2011

US Supreme Court Decides to Hear Case Concerning Jerusalem Birth

The third branch of the US government decided to get involved in the ongoing dispute between Congress and the Executive Office concerning the status of Jerusalem. Can an American citizen born in Jerusalem officially claim to have been born in Israel? Yes, says Congress. No says the Secretary of State. Here are some legal details concerning this case, as submitted to "Unholycity" by Prof. Pnina Lahav (BU LAW):
• M.B.Z. v. Clinton, No. 10-699. Does the "political question doctrine" deprive a federal court of jurisdiction to enforce a federal statute that directs the secretary of state how to record the birthplace of a Jerusalem-born American citizen on a Consular Report of Birth Abroad and on a passport? Also, does Section 214 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003, impermissibly infringe the president's power to recognize foreign sovereigns? Section 214 provides a congressional statement of policy with respect to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and specifically provides in subsection (d) that the secretary of state shall, upon a citizen's or guardian's request, record the birthplace of a U.S. citizen born in Jerusalem, for purposes of registering or certifying the birth or issuing a passport, record the place of birth as Israel.

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