Posts Tagged: Howard Hills

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

Puerto Rico has never chosen independence, but it is a viable option under the U.S. Constitution. If Puerto Rico suddenly decided to become independent, there would be a choice between two forms of independence: independence as a sovereign nation with no special ties to the United States, and independence as a Free Associated State in… 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 »

The Relationship between Puerto Rico and the U.S.

Many Americans continue to be confused about Puerto Rico’s relationship with the United States. The Skimm says Puerto Rico is “like a college kid — kinda independent, kinda not.” Bloomberg says, “The political and economic relationship between U.S. territories and their neglectful overlords in Washington is a blueprint for continuing moral hazard.” But the United… Read more »