Posts Tagged: Howard Hills

Puerto Rico Not Foreign In Any Sense

By Howard Hills Ready for Transition to Uniform Taxation In all 32 territories that became states, federal and local laws unique to each territory’s historical relations with Washington had to be conformed to domestic national law applicable to states. Transition to uniformity of national law was a necessary step in the transition to statehood as… Read more »

Catalonia-Puerto Rico Paradox

by Howard Hills Since 1932 Spain has tried to appease Catalan separatists under a “Statute of Autonomy” instead of independence. Catalonia’s regional government in Barcelona acquired “nation-like” like powers, but constitutionally Madrid retained supreme national sovereignty. The ambiguity of “autonomy” delayed for 85 years the collision of Catalonia’s aspirations for a “national reality” with Spanish… Read more »

How to Guarantee U.S. Citizenship after the Plebiscite

The ballot for the June 11th status referendum in Puerto Rico originally informed voters that future U.S. citizenship was guaranteed only under statehood. The Department of Justice disapproved this wording. In the Department’s view, the status quo — Puerto Rico is currently an unincorporated territory of the United States — also allows citizenship. Puerto Ricans… Read more »

51st State: Whose Legacy?

by Howard Hills, author of Citizens Without a State Maybe the real lesson of the 2016 election is that change in federal law and policy is constant, but the words of the U.S. Constitution alone are the permanent legacy of American federalism. Presidents and their legacies come and go, Congressional legacies too, but the Constitution… Read more »

The Legal Reality of Free Association

As Puerto Rico prepares to vote on status options in its first federally-funded plebiscite, it’s important to make sure that voters fully understand the status options. The first vote, planned for June 2017, will be between statehood and independence. If independence wins the vote, there will be a second vote between two forms of independence:… Read more »

PROMESA and the Education of Congress

By Guest Contributor Howard Hills* In 1812 the territory of Louisiana was admitted as the 18th state of the union even though war with Britain raged, the local languages were French and Spanish not English, and the region had no developed economy.  In 1817 the territory of Mississippi became the 20th state only after Congress… Read more »

“PROMESA” Floor Debate Makes a Great Civics Lesson

The current polarization of the two major political parties in the United States can make it hard to get across the idea of bipartisan cooperation in Congress to students. For college or high school classrooms — or for stepping up dinner table conversations — the floor debate on PROMESA makes a great lesson. So pull… Read more »

How Puerto Rico’s “Autonomy Without Accountability” Led to Current Financial Crisis

On July 25, 1961, President Kennedy signed a “Memorandum of the President to Heads of the Executive Departments and Agencies,” regarding arrangements for conducting federal relations with Puerto Rico’s “commonwealth” regime of autonomous territorial government. Among other things, Kennedy’s directive declared that Executive Order 6726, signed by President Franklin Roosevelt on May 29, 1934, would… Read more »

Is Status the Elephant in the Room?

Territorial law expert Howard Hills, who has written guest posts for the Puerto Rico Report, wrote a thought provoking piece for Pasquines last week. Status, Hills said, is the elephant in the room when it comes to Puerto Rico’s debt crisis. The elephant in the room is an idiom for a problem that everyone knows… Read more »