US high court skeptical in Israel passport case

November 8, 2011 00:25

WASHINGTON - US Supreme Court justices on Monday seemed to back the Obama administration's position that only the president can recognize foreign states, as they heard the case of a boy born in Jerusalem to American parents who want his passport to list Israel as his birthplace.

The parents of 9-year-old Menachem Zivotofsky argued that the move should be made under a 2002 law - passed weeks before Menachem was born - that included a provision allowing Israel to be listed as the place of birth on the passport of any American citizen born in Jerusalem.

At stake in the diplomatically sensitive case is whether the executive branch has exclusive control over dealings with foreign nations, or whether Congress and the courts also have a say.

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