(CN) – The D.C. Circuit refused to take sides in the contentious debate over whether Jerusalem is a part of Israel, denying a request to record Israel as the official birthplace of a U.S. citizen born in Jerusalem.
Ari and Naomi Siegman Zivotofsky asked the court to direct the secretary of state to recognize Israel as their son’s birthplace.
But the federal appeals court refused to take a stance where the United States did not.
“That the United States expresses no official view on the thorny issue of whether Jerusalem is part of Israel has been a central and calibrated feature of every president’s foreign policy since Harry S. Truman,” Judge Griffith wrote.
“Because the judiciary has no authority to order the Executive Branch to change the nation’s foreign policy in this matter, this case is unquestionably under the political question doctrine.”
The doctrine protects the judiciary from political entanglements by allowing courts to decline cases which are deemed best left to the “political” branches of government.