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Аlways-very-touchy case

Со страницы http://9tv.co.il/news/2015/06/08/206013.html

Американский суд постановил: родился в Иерусалиме, но не в Израиле

В понедельник, 8 июня, Верховный суд США вынес вердикт, на основании которого американские граждане, родившиеся в Иерусалиме, не могут указывать в своих анкетах для получения гражданского паспорта Израиль в качестве страны рождения. Об этом сообщает Jpost.
По информации Reuters, вердикт вынесен при поддержке шести судей против трех.
"За" голосовали верховные судьи т. н. "либерального направления": Рут Бадер-Гинзбург, Стефан Брейер, Соня Сотомайор и Елена Каган, объединившись с "консерваторами" Энтони Кеннеди и Кларенсом Томасом. В поддержку истцов высказались: Джон Робертс, Антонин Скалия и Самуэль Алито.
Рассмотрение иска в Верховном суде США инициировала супружеская пара израильтян. Американское МВД отказалось указывать в паспорте их сына, Менахема Зивотовского, страну рождения. Это вызвало возмущенное недоумение израильских граждан и они попытались найти справедливость в судебных инстанциях.
Верховный суд США мотивировал свое решение тем, что "только президент США имеет исключительное и эксклюзивное право" определять государственно-административную принадлежность Иерусалима к Израилю.
В направленном в суд заявлении администрации Белого дома говорится, что принятие правовой нормы, согласно которой Иерусалим является частью Израиля, противоречит статусу США как объективного посредника в процессе мирного урегулирования ближневосточного конфликта.

Со страницы http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/06/08/the-supreme-court-decision-striking-down-the-born-in-israel-passport-law-explained/

The Supreme Court decision striking down the ‘born in Israel’ passport law, explained

By Amber Phillips

More than a decade ago, Congress passed a law allowing Americans born in Jerusalem to list "Israel" as their birthplace on their passports.
But for the past 60 years, the U.S. has also said that it doesn't recognize Jerusalem as belonging to Israel.
On Monday, the Supreme Court called the passport law unconstitutional. Congress, the justices said, overstepped its constitutional duties with the law because it undermined the president’s ability to recognize sovereign foreign nations. And when it comes to that, only the president can decide.
The decision ends a sometimes-complicated and always-very-touchy case that carries quite a bit of political history. Here's what you need to know about it.

Let's start with the law in question

In 2002, Congress passed a spending bill that had the controversial passport provision attached. A skeptical President George W. Bush signed the bill into law but said he wouldn't enforce it. It violated America's long-held official position of neutrality over who actually has sovereignty over Jerusalem, he said.
President Obama has also said he thinks the law would make him choose one side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has refused to enforce it.

What, exactly, did the Supreme Court rule?

That the president, and only the president, has the right to recognize foreign nations. It's unconstitutional for Congress to pass any law that even inadvertently subverts which countries the United States recognizes, the Supreme Court said.
"Recognition is a topic on which the nation must speak with one voice,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy in the majority opinion. “That voice must be the President’s.”

But not every justice agrees

As we said, the ruling was 6-3, with the court's four liberal justices — Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — joining the more moderate Kennedy.
The three dissenters differ on the passport law's reading. They say having Jerusalem-born Americans' passports say Israel does not undermine the president's power to recognize a country.
Chief Justice John Roberts said, "The statute at issue does not implicate recognition," but "simply gives an American citizen born in Jerusalem the option to designate his place of birth as Israel for the purposes of passports and other documents."
It took seven months for the justices to come to this conclusion — the longest-pending decision with the court, USA Today reports — which perhaps underscores the sensitive nature of the constitutional question at hand.

This case has been to the Supreme Court before
The Supreme Court actually looked at the passport issue three years ago. Back then, as our own Robert Barnes writes, it was a much broader debate on whether the courts could even chime in on the law or whether this was a "political question" that Congress and the president had to figure out.
The Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that this was a constitutional question that the courts should settle. The ruling sent it back to lower courts, and then the actual question on the law's constitutionality made its way back up the ladder.
According to Barnes, the law only affects about 50,000 Americans, including the cases' plaintiff, Menachem Binyamin Zivotofsky, who was born in 2002 in Jerusalem. But the politics are much bigger.

So, remind me again. Which country has sovereignty over Jerusalem?

If you're the American government, nobody. A bit of history here: With violence in the Middle East increasing among Palestinians and Jewish settlers, in 1947 the United Nations decided to make the contested city of Jerusalem international neutral territory.
But American lawmakers who want to show their unwavering support for Israel have consistently tried to move Jerusalem back into the U.S. foreign policy spotlight. In 1995, Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act that required the U.S. move its embassy from Israel's official capital, Tel Aviv, to Jerusalem.
President Clinton signed the bill into law because otherwise he would have vetoed all State Department funding (a similar situation Bush faced with the 2002 passport law). But Clinton and other presidents have refused to move the embassy, for much the same reason as the passport issue.

How the passport law came about

In 2002, Congress saw its chance to try to force the president's hand on the embassy. It passed a budget for the State Department that would once again require the U.S. to move the center of its diplomatic relations to Jerusalem. That same bill required the State Department to let Americans born in Jerusalem list Israel as their birthplace if the U.S. citizen's parent or guardian requested it.
That's exactly what 12-year-old Zivotofsky's parents wanted to happen when he was born in Jerusalem shortly after the law was passed. But the State Department refused, and lawsuits ensued.

The Supreme Court decision has no impact on Jerusalem's place U.S. foreign policy

It seems obvious, but this is important to note. In ruling that the president has power to decide whether Jerusalem belongs to a certain country, the justices never said which country the president should decide on. All they said was that Congress should stay out of it.
It seems the majority of justices bought the administration's argument that Congress was wading into some truly touchy territory by trying to list "Jerusalem, Israel," on official U.S. documents.
Jerusalem's status, said Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli in oral arguments last year, "is the most vexing and volatile and difficult diplomatic issue that this nation has faced for decades."
Liberal justice Kagan seconded that.
"History suggests," she said, "that everything is a big deal with respect to the status of Jerusalem. And right now, Jerusalem is a tinderbox."

On that, at least, everyone can agree.

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