Supreme Court to hear Jerusalem passport, arbitration cases

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in MBZ v. Clinton [docket; cert. petition, PDF] to determine whether the political question doctrine [Cornell LII backgrounder] deprives a federal court of jurisdiction to enforce a federal statute that explicitly directs the secretary of state how to record the birthplace of an American citizen on a Consular Report of Birth Abroad and on a passport. US citizen Menachem Zivotofsky was born in Jerusalem in 2002. His parents asked the State Department to record his place of birth as Jerusalem, Israel, but were told it could only be listed as Jerusalem because the US does not recognize any country as having sovereignty over Jerusalem. His parents filed suit in 2003, and a federal district court dismissed the suit as a political question.

The court also agreed to decide in CompuCredit Corp. v. Greenwood [docket; cert. petition, PDF] whether claims arising under the Credit Repair Organizations Act [15 USC § 1679 et seq.] are subject to arbitration pursuant to a valid arbitration agreement. The case arises from a dispute between consumers and companies that issue low-rate credit cards to people with bad credit. The consumers filed a lawsuit over credit card fees, and the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled [opinion, PDF] that they had a right to sue in federal court rather than face arbitration. There is a circuit split on the issue.

 

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