Equally American Blog

  • Democratic and Republican National Conventions Highlight Need for Voting Rights in U.S. Territories

    New Federal Lawsuit Will Seek to Expand Voting Rights in the Territories

  • American Bar Association Supports Equality in Federal Programs, Voting Rights for Territorial Residents

    The American Bar Association has added its voice in support of equality for residents of U.S. territories when it comes to participation in federal programs and the right to vote. This support comes through two resolutions introduced by the Virgin Islands Bar Association that were overwhelmingly adopted by the full ABA House of Delegates at this year's virtual Annual Meeting. Anthony Ciolli, past President and delegate of the Virgin Islands Bar Association, spoke in favor of both resolutions to the ABA House of Delegates and helped shepherd their passage.

  • Court Strikes Down Discrimination Against Residents of Puerto Rico in Key Federal Programs

    Today, a federal judge in the District Court of Puerto Rico ruled in Pena Martinez  v. US Department of Health and Human Services that the federal government’s exclusion of Puerto Rico residents from three major social  benefits programs is an unconstitutional violation of equal protection. This important ruling follows on the heels of the First Circuit Court of Appeals’ historic ruling in United States v. Vaello Madero earlier this year, which held that residents of Puerto Rico could not be excluded from Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and a similar decision in Schaller v. U.S. Social Security Administration, which ruled the denial of SSI benefits in Guam unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court is likely to take up these issues, which impact nearly 4 million Americans living in five U.S. territories.

  • Congress Holds Historic Hearing on Territorial Voting Rights

    In an historic first, the House Administration Committee’s Subcommittee on Elections held a hearing today addressing the denial of voting rights in U.S. territories. Members of Congress representing the Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands all testified in support of expanding voting rights to include the nearly 4 million citizens who live in U.S. territories – 98% of whom are racial or ethnic minorities.

  • Congress to Hold Historic Hearing on Territorial Voting Rights

    On Tuesday, July 28, 2020, the House Administration Committee’s Subcommittee on Elections will hold a hearing to address the denial of voting rights in U.S. territories – an historic first. While Congress has regularly held hearings addressing issues of political status in U.S. territories, never before has it held a hearing focused specifically on the issue of voting rights and disenfranchisement in these areas.

  • Equally American Calls for Human Rights Commission to Examine Disenfranchisement in U.S. Territories and DC

    Equally American and DC Vote, along with co-sponsoring organizations, have requested a thematic hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on the denial of the right to political participation in U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. The request highlights the disenfranchisement of the nearly 5 million Americans living in DC and the Territories – more than 90% of whom are racial or ethnic minorities.

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