BREAKING: ADC Files Amicus Brief in U.S. Supreme Court ‘Zivotofsky’ Case


American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

ADC Files Amicus Brief in U.S. Supreme Court Case,
Zivotofsky v. Kerry

Washington, D.C. | | September 30, 2014 –  The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) filed its amicus brief to the United States (U.S.) Supreme Court in Zivotofsky v. Kerry. In the Amicus, ADC supported the U.S. State Department’s position that Section 214(d) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act is unconstitutional. Section 214(d) is part of a broader attempt to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. 

Section 214(d) provides that “for the purposes of the registration of birth, certification of nationality, or issuance of a passport of a United States citizen born in the city of Jerusalem, the Secretary shall, upon the request of the citizen or the citizen’s legal guardian, record the place of birth as Israel.” 

ADC feels compelled to address the discriminatory effect of Section 214(d) on Palestinian-Americans. Section 214(d) allows American citizens born in Jerusalem to put “Israel” as their place of birth on their passport, while not allowing Palestinian-Americans born in Jerusalem to put Palestine as their place of birth on their passport.

ADC is increasingly concerned of Congress pushing forward discriminatory and biased legislation in favor of Israeli-Americans and against Palestinian-Americans, such as Section 214(d).

First, the Amicus argues that the U.S. President has exclusive power to recognize foreign sovereigns and their territorial boundaries and that Section 214(d) infringes on the Executive’s powers. Second, the Amicus argues that Section 214(d) is an unconstitutional delegation of Congress’ legislative power and/or regulatory authority to private citizens. Lastly, the Amicus argues Section 214(d) violates the Equal Protection Clause.

Additionally, ADC firmly believes that the sensitive status of Jerusalem is a decision that not only impacts foreign affairs and peace negotiations in the Middle East and Arab region, but also a decision that Congress is ill-equipped to make unilaterally. The position of the U.S. has always been to remain neutral on the status of Jerusalem, and Section 214(d) is directly inconsistent with that policy.

Since its inception, ADC has dedicated itself to defending civil rights and will continue to do so. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, please contact ADC at 202-244-2990. 

ADC’s amicus brief submission can be accessed at this link.

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