Thursday, December 1, 2022

SSI Exclusion Leaves Puerto Rico in the Cold

By on May 13, 2022

Associate Justice Sees Potential Repeal of ‘Shameful’ Insular Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that the U.S. Constitution does not require Congress to extend Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to residents of Puerto Rico, in a decision that reaffirms the island’s colonial state. Furthermore, stateside politicians have dragged their feet with regard to the status question, analysts told Caribbean Business.

They said the ruling also opened the possibility of a future repeal of the Insular Cases—a series of top-court decisions early last century, establishing that Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines, which were taken from Spain in the 1898 Spanish-American War—were to become unincorporated territories with limited constitutional protections. The rulings stated that these territories were “foreign in a domestic sense.”

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