Passport Dispute Does Not Present “Political Question”

In non-mandate news, the Supreme Court issued two merits opinions today, including Zivotofsky v. Clinton, a challenge to the State Department’s refusal to follow a federal statute directing the federal government to recognize Jerusalem as a part of Israel specifically by allowing American citizens born in Jerusalem to have “Israel” listed as their birthplace.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit had held that Zivotofsky’s claim presented a non-justiciable political question as it involved a foreign policy question implicating separation of powers questions best resolved by the political branches.  in Zivotofsky, the Supreme Court disagreed.  Chief Justice Roberts wrote the opinion for the Court, joined by Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Ginsburg, and Kagan.  Justices Alito and Sotomayor wrote opinions concurring in the judgment and Justice Breyer dissented.