Posts Categorized: Archives

Nutrition Assistance in Puerto Rico: What It Means to be a Territory

Congressional consideration of the 2012 Farm Bill is once again raising issues about Puerto Rico’s status as a territory and the practical implications of that status. The United States Senate passed its version of the Farm Bill on June 21st.  The Agriculture Committee in the House of Representatives approved a different version of the bill on July 12th.  The Agriculture… Read more »

Puerto Rico at the Olympics

Puerto Rico will compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics independently of the United States, as it has since 1948. The National Olympic Committee for Puerto Rico was recognized in 1948 by the International Olympic Committee. How can Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States, have its own Olympic team? As it happens, the Olympics… Read more »

Should Puerto Rico Be Part of the United States?

Trick question. Puerto Rico is already a part of the United States in the sense that it belongs to the United States. The question is not whether to include Puerto Rico in the United States – that issue has already been decided. The question is how Puerto Ricans should be included in the country in… Read more »

Puerto Rico: Commonwealth or Territory?

Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States.  It has been a U.S. territory since 1898, when it was acquired from Spain after the Spanish-American War. The Supreme Court has affirmed Puerto Rico’s status as a territory.  Presidents, senior administration officials in successive Republican and Democratic administrations, authoritative sources such as the Congressional Research… Read more »

Senior Officials’ Statements on Puerto Rico’s Status

C. Kevin Marshall, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for President George W. Bush, Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice, Testimony before the Committee of Energy and Natural Resources, November 16, 2006.  The Task Force issued its [2005] report last December and concluded that there were three general options under the Constitution for Puerto Rico’s… Read more »

Presidential Statements on Puerto Rico’s Status

Report by The President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status (President Barack Obama), 2011, p. 26.  Under the Commonwealth option, Puerto Rico would remain, as it is today, subject to the Territory Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Report by The President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status (President George W. Bush) December 2007, p. 5. … Read more »

What is a Territory?

Puerto Rico is a territory belonging to the United States. Historically, many parts of the current United States, such as Oregon and Missouri, were territories before statehood. The Philippines are an example of a former territory of the United States which is now an independent nation. There are also former territories which have become part… Read more »

Supreme Court Statements on Puerto Rico’s Status

Harris v. Rosario, 446 U.S. 651, 651-52 (1980). Congress, which is empowered under the Territory Clause of the constitution, U.S. const., Art. IV, 3, cl.2, to “make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the territory . . . belonging to the United States,” may treat Puerto Rico differently from States so long as there is… Read more »