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Puerto Rico Justice Department Posts Docs related to US Supreme Court Cases

By on January 8, 2016

SAN JUAN -The Puerto Rico Justice Department announced Friday, Jan. 8, that it has posted on its website a series of documents related to three commonwealth-related cases pending at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The cases at the top federal court include two suits over the validity of a locally enacted bankruptcy law for the island’s public corporations, and a criminal case centered on the issue of double jeopardy. The latter, which could revisit the issue of sovereignty regarding the commonwealth’s political relationship with the U.S., will be subject to oral arguments Wednesday, Jan. 13. A similar hearing for the bankruptcy-related cases is expected to take place by March, although the Supreme Court has yet to schedule it.

For Justice Secretary César Miranda, the cases “pose very significant controversies that impact Puerto Rico and its institutions.”

“That the U.S. Supreme Court is seeing today these Puerto Rico cases is historic. Therefore, it is necessary that the commonwealth has information on the cases, which are certainly transcendental for everyone,” Miranda noted.

The documents being made available at include decisions issued by lower courts for the cases as well as allegations filed by all parties.

These include the Justice Department’s recently filed reply to the opposition allegation on the Pueblo v. Sánchez Valle, the double jeopardy case. Justice argues that Puerto Rico has a different sovereignty to that of the federal jurisdiction to criminally prosecute on the island, as sovereignty for such purposes comes from the people of Puerto Rico, and which has allowed for the promulgation of the Constitution of Puerto Rico and the laws passed subsequently, a Justice statement released Friday reads.

“Obviously, the allegations made by the other party and so-called ‘amicus’ contain views and arguments in opposition, and this is what makes it interesting and shows the importance of this case for Puerto Rico,” Miranda said.

By Luis J. Valentín

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