As reported in USA Today, she emphasized that Puerto Rico is not a colony, but “a free associated state…literally.”
In the hearing transcript itself, on page 47, she declared that “before 1952, Congress could veto Puerto Rico’s laws. It has relinquished that right.”
To many people (including this writer) Puerto Rico is still a colony, and the U.S. Congress has continuing jurisdiction over the island’s legislature through Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution, also known as the “Territorial Clause.”
The Territorial Clause states that “Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States.”
Buy maybe Sonia is right.
Maybe we should all put a finger to our lips, and keep our mouths shut for the next two weeks.
Maybe Sonia will write the majority opinion (not the dicta or dissent) and she’ll slip in a new interpretation of the Territorial Clause.
If so, then the Puerto Rico legislature could immediately pass a law, stating that the Jones Act will no longer apply to Puerto Rico.
It could immediately pass a law, stating that no U.S. Financial Control Board will ever have any authority in Puerto Rico.
It could immediately pass a law, stating that Puerto Rico is entitled to full bankruptcy relief.
Better yet, it could immediately pass a law stating that Puerto Rico’s $72 billion public debt is an “odious debt” which violates the Constitution of Puerto Rico…and that therefore Puerto Rico will not pay any of it.
Let’s all hope that Sonia Sotomayor is correct.
If she is, the Jones Act and Puerto Rico’s debt will soon disappear within a few weeks.
Sonia is either an idiot, or a Machiavellian genius.
For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…
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