Congress enacted a law allowing Americans born in Jerusalem to list “Israel” as their birthplace on their passports. The policy of the U.S. State Department, under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (defendant), was to remain neutral on the political status of Jerusalem. Thus, the department refused to comply with the statute. The parents of Menachem Zivotofsky (plaintiff), an American who was born in Jerusalem in 2002, brought suit against Clinton in federal court. The district court granted Clinton's motion to dismiss, holding that Zivotofsky's claim presented a nonjusticiable political question. The court of appeals affirmed. The court of appeals also held that the determination of whether the statute was constitutional was a political question. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.