Obama Administration Loses Crucial Supreme Court Decision on Jerusalem Passport Law

Mar 27, 2012, 17:23 ET from World Jewish Congress

NEW YORK, March 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The World Jewish Congress praised the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the case of Zivotofsky v. Clinton, which determined that federal courts can decide whether American citizens born in Jerusalem to  have the right to list "Jerusalem, Israel"  as their place of birth on their U.S. passports. The justices decided overwhelmingly by a vote of 8 to 1 to overturn a previous decision by a lower court that had determined that the judiciary could not get involved in the controversy since it is "political" and involves a foreign policy issue over which the Congress and the President are in dispute.

Up until this time, any American citizen born in Jerusalem has been prohibited from listing Israel as their place of birth, despite the fact that in 2002, Congress had passed a law seeking to give Americans born in Jerusalem the right to have Israel listed as their country of birth.  Despite Congressional approval, however, U.S. administrations have refused to enforce that law.

Ronald S. Lauder, World Jewish Congress president, issued the following statement:

"We are very pleased that the Supreme Court will allow the Zivotofskys, whose son Benjamin was born in Jerusalem, to pursue their efforts to list "Israel" as his country of birth on his American passport.  Congress passed a law granting them this right in 2002, reiterating its long held position that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, as previously legislated by Congress with the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995. Though these statutes have not been enforced by successive administrations under pressure from Arab countries, the decision clearly recognizes the Congressional policy on Jerusalem."


SOURCE World Jewish Congress