Compelled Diplomacy in Zivotofsky v. Kerry

13 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2015 Last revised: 19 Jan 2015

See all articles by Ryan Scoville

Ryan Scoville

Marquette University - Law School

Date Written: January 12, 2015


To the parties and lower courts, Zivotofsky v. Kerry has been a dispute primarily about the nature of the President's power to recognize foreign borders. But what if the law also raises another, entirely separate issue under Article II?

This essay explores the possibility that Section 214(d) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 2003 is unconstitutional not because it recognizes a border or materially interferes with the implementation of U.S. recognition policy, but simply because it purports to compel diplomatic speech that the President opposes. From this angle, Zivotofsky presents a question about who controls official diplomatic communications, and recognition is beside the point.

Keywords: Zivotofsky v. Kerry, separation of powers, foreign relations law, diplomacy, constitution

Suggested Citation

Scoville, Ryan M., Compelled Diplomacy in Zivotofsky v. Kerry (January 12, 2015). NYU Journal of Law & Liberty, Vol. 9, 2014, Marquette Law School Legal Studies Paper No. 15-03, Available at SSRN:

Ryan M. Scoville (Contact Author)

Marquette University - Law School ( email )

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