Posts Categorized: Top Stories

Jeb Bush Strongly Endorses Puerto Rico Statehood

Jeb Bush announced unequivocal support for Puerto Rico statehood during a visit to the U.S. territory today. “I think Puerto Rican citizens, U.S. citizens, ought to have the right to determine if they want to be a State,” he said.  “I think statehood is the best path, personally.  I’ve believed that for a long, long while.”  … Read more »

Will A Court Case Again Backfire on the Territories?

Guest post by Howard Hills Acquisition of U.S. citizenship by court order, as requested in the American Samoan citizenship case, may prove highly problematic. If the courts rule that the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment applies in non-incorporated territories, that is tantamount to incorporation of all five current territories into the United States. Incorporation… Read more »

Federal Territorial Law is Broken; Can the Courts Fix It?

By guest contributor Howard Hills   In the 1901 case of Downes v. Bidwell, the U.S. Supreme broke with our nation’s anti-colonial principles and allowed the U.S. Government to rule foreign lands acquired by the U.S. outside the umbrella of the Constitution. The peoples were not found to be U.S. citizens. The court invented a… Read more »

PR Supreme Court: PR’s Status Limits Criminal Prosecutions

Because Puerto Rico is a territory — and a not a State, the insular government cannot prosecute an individual in a local court tried for the same crime in Federal court, the territorial Supreme Court ruled late Friday. Its reasoning was that the authority for both cases would have the same origin: the Federal government…. Read more »

New House GOP Chairman Open to Statehood

It became clear yesterday that the new Republican chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives committee with lead responsibility for the political status of territories is open to statehood for Puerto Rico. Rob Bishop (Utah) was quoted as saying that he would not be opposed if a majority of the committee wanted to pass a… Read more »

U.S. House Hearing Set on Puerto Rico Agency Bankruptcy

The U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee that handles bankruptcy law plans a public hearing next Thursday on a bill to authorize the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to enable its independent agencies and the territory’s municipalities to rearrange their debts. The Federal Bankruptcy Code gives States this power but denies it to the territory. The bill,… Read more »

Bankruptcy Ruling Discredits “Commonwealth”

The territory of Puerto Rico, like the 50 States, cannot declare bankruptcy.  States, however, can authorize sub-units of their governments, such as utilities or  municipalities, to take advantage of the Federal Bankruptcy Code. This option does not exist in Puerto Rico, which, as a U.S. territory, is excluded. In June of 2014, with its Government… Read more »

Puerto Rico Could be a State in 2021 under US House Bill

A bill to make Puerto Rico a State January 1, 2021 if Puerto Ricans vote for the status again was formally proposed today in the U.S. House of Representatives by a symbolic 51 members. The territory’s resident commissioner in the House, Pedro Pierluisi, led the 50 others from both national political parties in sponsoring the legislation…. Read more »

Status Resolution Champion to Chair Territories Subcommittee

A champion of resolving the question of Puerto Rico’s ultimate political status has been named chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on territory issues. Representative Don Young (R-Alaska) will be the Chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs in the new 114th Congress. The “Insular”… Read more »