Appeals court to reconsider Jerusalem passport case

WASHINGTON (JTA) – A U.S. appeals court will hear arguments again on whether Americans born in Jerusalem can have "Israel" listed as their birthplace in their passports.

Nathan Lewin, the lawyer who last year won a Supreme Court decision requiring lower courts to resolve the issue, this week said that new hearings will begin on March 19 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

An array of Jewish groups had joined Lewin in pressing the courts to allow a hearing in the case of Menachem Zivotofsky, whose family for years has sought to force the State Department to name Israel as his birthplace, citing a 2002 law. 

President George W. Bush signed the law, but refused to implement it, citing executive prerogative in foreign policy. President Obama has continued that practice.

Last year’s 8-1 Supreme Court decision overruled lower court decisions that maintained that the judicial branch does not have authority to determine foreign policy. 

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