The Supreme Court announced yesterday that it will consider Puerto Rico vs. Valle, placing a case involving Puerto Rico’s political status on the Court’s agenda for the 2015-2016 term.
In its petition for certiorary, the government of Puerto Rico argued that the case is “the most important case on the constitutional relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States since the establishment of the Commonwealth in 1952.”
At issue is whether the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Federal Government are separate sovereigns for purposes of the Double Jeopardy Clause of the United States Constitution.
Puerto Rico vs. Valle involves the consolidation of two individual cases, both involving charges related to firearms, in which the defendants were able to dismiss their cases pending before a Puerto Rico court after a federal court ruled on the same charges. On appeal, Puerto Rico contends that the dismissal of these cases under its jurisdiction “strips Puerto Rico of the ability to enforce its own criminal laws without federal interference.”
For more information and to obtain copies of the briefs filed with the Court, click here.