The U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of a federal statute Monday that allowed Americans born in Jerusalem to record in their passport “Israel” as the place of birth.
From the Jerusalem Post:
In a major blow to a 13-year-old effort to bolster Jerusalem’s status under American law as an undisputed part of Israel, the US Supreme Court on Monday struck down as unconstitutional a Congressional law which authorized placing “Israel” on passports of Jerusalem-born Americans.
The 6-3 split ruling was also a victory for the administration of US President Barack Obama, which said the law unlawfully encroached on the president’s power to set foreign policy and would, if enforced, undermine the US government’s claim to be a neutral peacemaker in the Middle East.
Liberal justices Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan combined with swing justice Anthony Kennedy and generally highly conservative Justice Clarence Thomas for the 6-3 majority against Justices John Roberts, Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito.
Justice Scalia took the majority to task for its legal reasoning, saying its interpretation that putting the word Jerusalem on individual passport documents was tantamount to recognition of Israeli claims over the city was a “leap worthy of the Mad Hatter.”
Alyza Lewin gave background on the case at last year’s National Jewish Retreat. The presentation can be viewed here, courtesy of TorahCafe.com.