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Wednesday round-up

In 2012, the Court held in M.B.Z. v. Clinton that the political question doctrine does not preclude courts from considering the constitutionality of a provision of the Foreign Relations Reauthorization Act which allows a U.S. citizen born in Jerusalem to ask to have his passport list “Israel” as his place of birth.  The Court remanded the case to the D.C. Circuit, and yesterday that court held that the law intrudes on the president’s power.  Lyle reports on the decision for this blog, while at The Volokh Conspiracy, Eugene Kontorovich discusses the D.C. Circuit’s deference to the executive branch in this issue of foreign relations, adding that the issue of the passport served as “merely a vehicle to challenge a broader government policy.”


  • This blog’s Lyle Denniston reports on the refusal of the California Supreme Court to halt county clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples – the second such ruling in just over a week.
  • Lyle also outlines the calendar of upcoming arguments for the October 2013 sitting, which begins October 7.
  • At his blog, Rick Hasen discusses comments made by Justice Stephen Breyer (which Amy covered in yesterday’s round-up) regarding the Court’s decision in the affirmative action case, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.
  • Last Friday, Hasen also moderated a Term-in review panel at the University of California-Irvine Law School; the video of the panel is now available online.
  • At, Damon Root reports on the cert. petition in the case of Castille v. Saint Joseph Abbey, in which Louisiana is seeking review of a decision by the Fifth Circuit striking down the state’s requirement that caskets be sold only by licensed funeral directors.

Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys work for or contribute to this blog in various capacities, was among the counsel to the American Association of Law Schools as an amicus in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.

Recommended Citation: Dan Stein, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jul. 24, 2013, 12:24 PM),