Charlie Hernandez Suspended from the PDP

The Popular Democratic Party (PDP) has removed Representative Charlie Hernandez from his leadership posts for announcing his intention to vote for the “free association” option on the upcoming plebiscite. There will be two questions on the ballot. First, voters will determine whether to continue in the current relationship Puerto Rico has with the United States…. 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 »

The People of Puerto Rico Seek Congressional Leadership to Resolve Their Territorial Status

Congressional Recognition of Puerto Rican Requests for Action Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), House Floor Statement before House Session, June 21, 2017, Congressional Record, page H5004.  In our democracy, only those who cast ballots are counted, and those who voted in Puerto Rico overwhelmingly chose statehood. It is now up to Puerto Rico’s elected officials, especially… 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 »

Puerto Rico: Undefended Front in the War on Drugs

A CNN article reports that Puerto Rico, an island with a population of 3,706,690, had 1,136 murders last year — 70% of them related to drug trafficking. For perspective, consider that New York City, with a population of more than 8 million people, had 496 murders in 2011. Travelers from Puerto Rico to the mainland… Read more »

UN Meeting about Puerto Rico Again

Caribbean Business reports that the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization is considering the situation of Puerto Rico once again at its annual meeting. The committee is meeting today to consider the case of Puerto Rico in particular.