Equally American Calls on Congressional Leaders to Reject Insular Cases Following Supreme Court Inaction

On Wednesday, the civil rights advocacy group Equally American urged Congressional leaders to take action to reject the Insular Cases after the Supreme Court failed to do so earlier this week in its decision upholding Puerto Rico’s undemocratic PROMESA Oversight Board.


Equally American called upon the leadership of Congress’s Natural Resources and Judiciary Committees to advance House Resolution 641, which would formally declare that the “so-called Insular Cases rest on the same racist and ethnographic assumptions leading to Plessy v. Ferguson’s infamous ‘separate but equal’ doctrine” and have “no place in United States Constitutional law.” 

“The Constitution wisely empowered Congress to act when our nation’s courts fail to,” said Neil Weare, president and founder of Equally American. “Congress should make clear that the Supreme Court needs to take action and finally overrule the Insular Cases and their judge-created doctrine of ‘separate and unequal’ status for residents of the territories.”

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court dismissed requests from parties on both sides of the PROMESA litigation asking the Court to squarely address and overrule the increasingly controversial Insular Cases, a set of early-twentieth-century decisions that raise uncertainty about the constitutional rights of nearly 4 million Americans living in Puerto Rico and other territories. The logic of the Insular Cases is expressly rooted in racial assumptions that U.S. territories like Puerto Rico were populated by “alien races” and “savages” who could not comprehend American “Anglo-Saxon principles.” The most prominent of these cases, Downes v. Bidwell, was decided by the same core of Justices who created the “separate but equal” doctrine of racial segregation in 1896, just two years before the United States annexed Puerto Rico.



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@EquallyAmerican tweeted this page. 2020-06-03 16:25:16 -0400
Equally American Calls on Congressional Leaders to Reject Insular Cases Following Supreme Court Inaction http://www.equalrightsnow.org/hr641?recruiter_id=34646
published this page in Equally American Blog 2020-06-03 16:24:49 -0400