The Enactment of the Commonwealth Constitution: The Confusion Begins Puerto Rico is often called a commonwealth, but “Commonwealth” is actually just a word in the formal name of its insular government. In 1950, the Federal government authorized Puerto Rico to draft a local constitution for Federal approval (Public Law 81-600), specifying that any new local autonomy would… Read more »
Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States. Its residents are United States citizens, but they have no voting rights or representation in the government that makes and implements their national laws, and they are not treated equally in federal programs. This unequal treatment violates the most basic principles of equal citizenship in the… Read more »
The legal foundation of Puerto Rico’s status within the United States can be found in Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, commonly known as the “Territory Clause” — “The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging… Read more »
Delivered on February 9, 1989 Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, and distinguished Members of the House and Senate, honored guests, and fellow citizens: Less than 3 weeks ago, I joined you on the West Front of this very building and, looking over the monuments to our proud past, offered you my hand in filling the next… Read more »
The legal foundation of Puerto Rico’s status within the United States can be found in Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, commonly known as the “Territorial Clause” — “The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging… Read more »
Three referenda held in the 20th century to provide Puerto Ricans with self determination were inconclusive due to confusion over “Commonwealth” proposals that are different from the current governing arrangement and different from one another and were later determined by Federal officials to not be viable.
In 1998, the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) of Puerto Rico (not affiliated with the Democratic Party of the U.S.) adopted a blueprint for a new relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico. This plan, which was re-endorsed in the Party’s platforms in 2000 and 2004, by resolutions of its Governing Board in 2009 and… Read more »
Puerto Rico is often called “a commonwealth” but “Commonwealth” is actually just a part of its formal government title. Four States (Virginia, Massachusetts, Kentucky and Pennsylvania) and another territory (the Northern Mariana Islands) also label themselves “Commonwealth”s in their constitutions. In 1950, the Federal government authorized Puerto Rico to draft a local constitution for Federal approval… Read more »
The answer to this broad question is, “maybe yes and maybe no.” As “statutory citizens,” the nearly four million Americans born in Puerto Rico might not be considered “natural born,” a Constitutional requirement to become President of the United States. Let’s look at a few cases!
(I) Statehood: Puerto Rico should be admitted as a state of the United States of America so that all United States citizens residing in Puerto Rico may have rights, benefits, and responsibilities equal to those enjoyed by all other citizens of the states of the Union, and be entitled to full representation in Congress and… Read more »