Published On: Tue, Jun 9th, 2015

Supreme Court rules that President recognizes Jerusalem, not Congress

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a law that would have allowed American parents of children born in Jerusalem to obtain passports saying the children were born in Israel. The president, rather than Congress, must determine national policy on the status of Jerusalem, the majority said.

The decision came against the backdrop of generations of conflict in the Middle East and longstanding tensions between Congress and presidents on the conduct of foreign policy there.

The vote was 6 to 3, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel A. Alito Jr. dissenting.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for five justices, said the court had approached the question cautiously.

“Jerusalem’s political standing has long been, and remains, one of the most sensitive issues in American foreign policy,” Justice Kennedy wrote, “and indeed it is one of the most delicate issues in current international affairs.”

But Justice Kennedy said the Constitution gave the president exclusive authority to determine the nation’s stance. “Put simply,” he wrote, “the nation must have a single policy regarding which governments are legitimate in the eyes of the United States and which are not.”

The nation must speak with one voice, he said, and “that voice must be the president’s.”

photo screenshot White House video, cropped

photo screenshot White House video, cropped

In dissent, Chief Justice Roberts said the majority had taken a bold step. “Today’s decision is a first,” he wrote. “Never before has this court accepted a president’s direct defiance of an act of Congress in the field of foreign affairs.”

The case concerned a 2002 law that instructed the State Department to “record the place of birth as Israel” in the passports of American children born in Jerusalem if their parents requested the designation.

Justice Scalia announced his dissent from the bench.

Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, praised the decision and said it “sends a clear message to Israel that its policies of colonization are null and void.”

photo Ron Almo

photo Ron Almo

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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