Cara J. Grand

Document Type

Supreme Court Commentaries

Publication Date



Judicial Review, Constitutional Interpretation

Subject Category

Constitutional Law | Law


This commentary profiles the upcoming Supreme Court decision in Zivotofsky v. Kerry, which will decide, for the first time in United States history, the dividing line between legislative and executive authority to recognize foreign nations. Though it emanates from a seemingly-benign passport disagreement about a place-of-birth designation, this case will address an unprecedented and extremely controversial issue about separation of powers that has somehow evaded a Supreme Court decision. The Author profiles the case history and applicable legal precedent and analyzes the arguments for both sides before recommending that the Court should not find the President's power in this area of foreign policy to be either supreme or exclusive.