Within the newest set again to equality within the US, Puerto Rico has as soon as once more been denied the identical rights as different elements of the US. The Supreme Courtroom has dominated that, as a territory and never a state, the identical guidelines and rights needn’t be handed on to the island that exist in different elements of the US..
One of many factors made by Justice Kavanaugh, who penned the 8-1 opinion, was that “simply as not each federal tax extends to residents of Puerto Rico, so too not each federal advantages program extends to residents of Puerto Rico.”
This argument was criticised by Justice Sotomayor, herself of Puerto Rican descent and the one dissenting voice. She mentioned this ruling may very well be used to focus on residents residing in states which pay a lot much less federal taxes, like Vermont, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Alaska.
“[The ruling] makes it far simpler for Congress, a physique wherein the territories should not represented, to deal with residents of these territories in a different way with those that dwell within the states — not only for Supplemental Security Earnings, however for all federal profit applications,” mentioned CNN Supreme Courtroom analyst Steve Vladeck.
Puerto Rico is just not a state of the US, it’s a territory. This provides Congress the ability to determine on its dealings with the island, regardless of the island having no illustration on this course of. These rulings and selections are handed right down to Puerto Rico, with no actual recourse to face up for itself.
Within the contiguous US, residents are eligible for SSI funds when their month-to-month earnings drop under $750 a month. In Puerto Rico, the place the individuals are additionally residents, they can not earn greater than $65 a month. To compound this, the common profit on the island is a meager $77 a month, in comparison with the common within the US of $533 a month. As compared, an individual in Texas would obtain ten occasions greater than somebody in Puerto Rico from their job and SSI advantages mixed, in the event that they had been working just below the edge. It’s then no surprise that 44 % of Puerto Ricans dwell in poverty, far larger than any state within the US.
Why was the case delivered to the courtroom within the first place?
The case answered was that of José Luis Vaello-Madero, 67, a disabled man who lived in New York from 1985 till 2013. After shifting to Puerto Rico, he nonetheless obtained SSI funds for 3 years, after which he was focused by the Social Security Administration. They demanded he pay again $28,000 in advantages he obtained whereas on the island.