The Lawfare Podcast: Zivotofsky v. Kerry—The Jerusalem Passport Case

By Cody M. Poplin
Saturday, June 13, 2015, 1:30 PM

On this week’s Lawfare Podcast, Lawfare Founding Editor Jack Goldsmith and Marty Lederman—Georgetown law professor, Just Security blogger, and former Justice Department official—sat down to discuss the Supreme Court’s sweeping ruling in Zivotofsky v. Kerry (which this site has covered extensively, here, here, here, here, here, and here). In its opinion, the Court ruled that the President has the exclusive power to recognize foreign sovereigns, and he therefore can disregard a congressional statute requiring him to designate “Israel” on the passports of U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem. What are the consequences of this broad decision? What does the Court's opinion now mean for the method of determining the President’s exclusive powers? And could the Court have reached a more limited ruling?

Goldsmith and Lederman tackle all this and more here on the Lawfare podcast.

Lederman has also covered Zivotofsky in a series of posts on Just Security. Read them here.

A slight correction from Marty: "In the podcast I mischaracterized the hypothetical statute that Justice Kagan discussed at oral argument. Her question was whether it would be constitutional for Congress to enact a law requiring the Secretary of State to send an official letter to all foreign ministers whenever a U.S. citizen was born in Jerusalem, announcing that a new American had been born 'in Israel.' The idea that such a law would be constitutional, said Justice Kagan, 'seems, well, a little bit shocking.'"