Does Congress have the power to turn birthright citizenship on and off in U.S. territories? What do the Insular Cases mean for U.S. territories today? These are just some of the questions that will be addressed on Wednesday, September 11th at UPR-Rio Piedras in a lecture by Neil Weare, President of We the People Project.
Weare is lead counsel in the federal lawsuit, Tuaua v. United States, which considers whether birthright citizenship in U.S. territories is a right guaranteed by the Constitution or a privilege extended by Congress. This landmark case currently on appeal to the D.C. Circuit may serve as a vehicle for challenging the continuing validity of the Insular Cases, a series of controversial early 1900s Supreme Court decisions that have been criticized as establishing a doctrine of “separate and unequal” status for the residents of U.S. territories.
Weare’s lecture, “A Dream Deferred: Constitutional Rights in the Caribbean and the Pacific,” will examine these issues within the context of the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech.” The event will be held at the Amphitheater Manuel Maldonado Denis (CRA 108) in Carmen Rivera de Alvarado Building (CRA) College of Social Sciences, UPR – Rio Piedras, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
More information about Tuaua v. United States, including case materials, is available here. More information about Attorney Weare, who grew up in the U.S. territory of Guam and is a graduate of Yale Law School, is available here.
We the People Project (www.equalrightsnow.org) is a national organization working to achieve equal rights and representation for the nearly 5 million U.S. citizens living in U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. It is neutral on the question of Puerto Rico’s future political status.
Internet Live transmission at http://ustream.tv/channel/cc71