Supreme Court To Rule On Passports For U.S. Citizens Born In Jerusalem

| by Will Hagle

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear a case that will determine whether or not U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem can list Israel as a birthplace on their passports. 

The case made its way to the U.S.’s highest court after two U.S. citizens, Ari and Naomi Zivotofsky, claimed that their son Menachem Binyamin, who was born in a Jerusalem hospital in 2002, should be able to have Israel rather than "Jerusalem" listed as his birthplace on his passport. 

According to RT, the ruling could affect about 50,000 Americans who were born in the disputed territory of Jerusalem. The ruling could also have widespread implications regarding U.S. foreign policy and relations in the Middle East. 

The court has maintained, however, that the case does not have political implications as it makes its way through the justice system. The justices will simply be determining whether Congress or the State Department has final say in the matter of determining what birthplace can be listed. 

Prior to 2002, the U.S. was neutral in its recognition of Jerusalem’s national sovereignty. In 2002, Congress passed a law allowing the State Department to list “Israel” on passports as the birthplace for U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem. Both the Bush and Obama administrations, however, have viewed this suggestion as advisory and refused to move forward. The current policy is to list "Jerusalem" as the birthplace of individuals born in that city, rather than listing a specific country.  

According to the Washington Post, the case is expected to be heard in October.