America’s Failures at Democracy

In a recent interview, former President Obama said that American democracy “is imperfect, but changing that is going to take a lot of effort.” In the interview, Obama spoke about the fact that the United States doesn’t have a “one person one vote” system. He mentioned Puerto Rico statehood in the context of voting rights…. Read more »

Grijalva to DOJ: Puerto Ricans Have Rejected Current Territory Status

Grijalva letter to DOJ

U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and a group of Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen last month objecting to the Department of Justice’s characterization of the 2012 plebiscite vote. “I am deeply concerned by the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) contentions that the… Read more »

The Arecibo Observatory to Be Decommissioned

The Arecibo observatory, until recently the largest radio telescope in the world, will be decommissioned because of recent damage. A cable broke in the spring and caused damage at the edge of a platform. A second cable broke earlier this month, causing large tears in the platform. Engineers have determined that it will not be… Read more »

Judge Raúl Arias Marxuach Nominated to First Circuit Court of Appeals

Judge Raúl Arias Marxuach has been nominated by Donald Trump to fill the seat on the First Circuit Court of Appeals which was vacated when Judge Juan Torruella  died last month. Torruella was the first Puerto Rican judge in that position, and Arias will be the second, if his nomination is approved. The First Circuit has… Read more »

Federal, State and Local Election Wins for Puerto Ricans

On November 3rd, 2020, voters in Puerto Rico chose statehood in a status referendum. They also chose statehood advocates as governor and resident commissioner. On the mainland, most Puerto Rican voters selected a president who has spoken in favor of statehood, even though voters living in Puerto Rico cannot vote in presidential elections. Puerto Ricans… Read more »

Puerto Ricans in Pennsylvania Favored Biden over Trump

Over 80% of Philadelphia’s voters chose President-elect Joe Biden in the 2020 general election, but as analysts scrutinized the results, they were surprised to also see increased support for President Trump. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Trump picked up about 127,000 votes in the typically Democratic city, compared with his 100,000 votes in 2016. Latino… Read more »

The “Tax Deal” View of Puerto Rico’s Status

In United States v. Vaello-Madero, the First Circuit Court of Appeals pointed out in its discussion over federal benefits that “[t]he residents of Puerto Rico not only make substantial contributions to the federal treasury, but in fact have consistently made them in higher amounts than taxpayers in at least six states[.]”  The contributions of different states and… Read more »

New Research on Mainland Support for Puerto Rico Statehood

On November 3rd, Puerto Ricans once again voted to become a State of the Union. Most territories which have become States have held one or more status votes of this kind, but a status plebiscite doesn’t automatically trip a switch that admits the territory as a State. Congress must take action. Puerto Rico voted for… Read more »

Republican Support for Puerto Rico Statehood

One widespread belief about Puerto Rico statehood is that it is supported by Democrats but not by Republicans. This is false. Republican support for Puerto Rico statehood has been well documented for many years. Some Republicans oppose statehood for Puerto Rico Some Republicans do not support statehood for Puerto Rico. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch… Read more »

Official 2020 Plebiscite Results

With 100% of votes counted, Puerto Rico’s 2020 status vote has a clear outcome: statehood won. Download PDF file 623,053, or 52.34%, of registered voters said “yes” to statehood. 567,346, or 47.66%, voted “no.” Puerto Rico Resident CommissionerJenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, the U.S. territory’s sole representative in Congress, issued this statement on the referendum: “The clearest message… Read more »