M.B.Z. v. Clinton, foreign policy matter before the SCOTUS

At the SCOTUS, an interesting foreign policy matter was admitted as a petition of Certiorari.

The matter relates to the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel, something that has been a cause for much debate at the US Senate. For many years now, Senators have tried to push for a law which officially recognizes Jerusalem as a capital of Israel, something that the President of the US has the authority to decide on. And till date, there is no official recognition that Jerusalem is indeed the capital of Israel, according to its choosing. This status of Israel has also been very controversial throughout history. In fact, the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act of 2011, which would officially recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital is still pending at the US Senate.

Coming back to the issue before the Supreme Court of the US, the dispute is relating to the separation of powers between Executive (President) and the Legislative (Congress) branches of the US with regard to matters of foreign policy. The recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is allowed in birth certificates of US citizens when they foreign born individuals. However, a presidential direction permitted only Israel to be recognized as a place of birth if they were born in Jerusalem. Therefore, the bone of contention is with regard to the “political question doctrine” which is against a direction of a federal legislation and whether this can be enforced by a court of law adversely to a political decision.

See SCOTUS Blog for the documents and this matter will be heard by the Court in the next term and the Washington Post article on the same.

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