House Dem Whip Steny Hoyer’s Statement on Puerto Rico

  I was disappointed that the Justice Department chose to interfere in Puerto Rico’s planned referendum on statehood.  By doing so, the Trump Administration is demonstrating exactly why a majority of Puerto Ricans voted five years ago for a change in status – they want to determine for themselves the future of the island, including… Read more »

Revised Puerto Rico Plebiscite Ballot

The original ballot for the June 2017 vote on Puerto Rico’s political status was rejected by the U.S. Department of Justice. Governor Rossello and other members of the Puerto Rico government have amended the ballot to meet the requirements of the DOJ. The new ballot language, which is found in Public Law 427, was passed by… Read more »

Puerto Rico’s Three Status Options

In 2014, the U.S. government approved funding for a new status vote in Puerto Rico — if the U.S. Department of Justice agreed that the options on the ballot were constitutional. A proposal was made for an up or down vote on statehood for Puerto Rico, a vote like the ones Hawaii and Alaska held… Read more »

Harvard Revisits the Insular Cases

The Harvard Law Review is re-examining the Insular Cases — the cases from the early 20th century which still dictate the fate of the unincorporated island territories of the United States. For Puerto Rico, the renewed look at the historic legal cases could make a big difference. As the HLR admits, “At the turn of… Read more »

What Does It Mean to Be a Territory of the United States?

Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States… but just what does it mean to be a territory? The United States formed as a union of 13 British colonies which banded together as a group of individual states. Each state saw itself as distinct from the others, and all were nervous about having the… Read more »

Justice Department Explains Rejection of Plebiscite Ballot

In a letter sent to Governor Rosselló yesterday, the United States Department of Justice cited “multiple considerations” in rejecting the Puerto Rican government’s proposed ballot for its status referendum planned for June 11, 2017. Writing for the Department, Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana J. Boente stated that federal policy requires “that the popular will of the… Read more »

Puerto Rico Plebiscite Will Include Choice to Remain a U.S. Territory

Governor Ricardo Rosselló announced this evening that the Puerto Rican government would proceed with the June 11th plebiscite despite the refusal of the U.S. Department of Justice to authorize the ballot without giving voters the option to remain a U.S. territory. “It is unacceptable to include the colony in a process to decolonize [Puerto Rico],” tweeted the… Read more »

Puerto Rico Republican Leaders Clarify “Commonwealth” Option

Puerto Rico Republican leaders have written to Attorney General Jeff Sessions offering guidance, a historic perspective and a forceful recommendation to exclude a “Commonwealth” option from the ballot for Puerto Rico’s upcoming plebiscite vote on June 11th.  What “Commonwealth” Means  The proposed ballot, as submitted by the Puerto Rico State Elections Commission, contains two choices… Read more »

Young Republicans Support Statehood for Puerto Rico

The Young Republican National Federation passed a resolution supporting statehood for Puerto Rico at the organization’s Spring 2017 meeting in Boston last weekend. The resolution began by acknowledging that the national Republican Party platform includes language that “support[s] the right of the United States citizens of Puerto Rico to be admitted to the Union as a… Read more »