John Kerry Was For The Foreign Relations Authorization Act Before He Was Against It

June 8th, 2015

In Zivotofsky v. Kerry, the Supreme Court found that Section 214 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 2002 unconstitutionally infringed on Secretary of State John Kerry’s powers over recognition.

In 2002, the Act passed the Senate by a voice vote. Then-Senator John F. Kerry, who didn’t vote against it, was for it. But now he is against it.

John Kerry was for the Foreign Relations Authorization Act before he was against it.

Update: The Court explains the intent of Congress, and John F. Kerry:

The statute is titled “United States Policy with Respect to Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel.” §214, 116 Stat. 1365. The House Conference Report proclaimed that §214 “contains four provisions related to the recognition of Jerusalem as Isra- el’s capital.” H. R. Conf. Rep. No. 107–671, p. 123 (2002). And, indeed, observers interpreted §214 as altering United States policy regarding Jerusalem—which led to protests across the region. See supra, at 4. From the face of §214, from the legislative history, and from its reception, it is clear that Congress wanted to express its displeasure with the President’s policy by, among other things, command- ing the Executive to contradict his own, earlier stated position on Jerusalem. This Congress may not do.