Advocates Urge DOJ to Reject Racist Supreme Court Rulings Denying Equal Rights to U.S. Territories

Advocates urge DOJ to reject century-old 'Insular Cases' that deny equal rights to 3.6M U.S. citizens in territories, calling them racist and imperialist. Overturning these rulings is crucial for ensuring equality for all Americans.

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Hadeel Hashem
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Advocates Urge DOJ to Reject Racist Supreme Court Rulings Denying Equal Rights to U.S. Territories

Advocates Urge DOJ to Reject Racist Supreme Court Rulings Denying Equal Rights to U.S. Territories

Advocates are calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to fully reject and reverse the century-old Supreme Court Insular Cases rulings, which they deem as racist policies against U.S. territories, including Guam. These rulings, decided between 1901 and 1922, established the doctrine of 'territorial incorporation,' holding that the Constitution does not fully apply to U.S. territories. As a result, 3.6 million residents of territories like Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are denied the same constitutional rights as those living in the 50 states.

The Insular Cases granted Congress unlimited power to determine the rights and political status of inhabitants of U.S. territories, based on the presumed racial inferiority of non-white people. A group of over a dozen people, including a U.S. Virgin Islands delegate and a House Natural Resources Committee member, sent a letter to the DOJ signed by 43 members of Congress, calling for the rejection of the Insular Cases.

Why this matters: The Insular Cases continue to impact millions of U.S. citizens living in territories, denying them equal constitutional rights. Overturning these racist rulings is seen as a critical step towards ensuring equal treatment for all Americans, regardless of where they reside.

While the DOJ has acknowledged that aspects of the Insular Cases' reasoning and rhetoric invoking racist stereotypes are indefensible and repugnant, the group argues the DOJ has not gone far enough in fully rejecting the rulings. Advocates maintain that the Insular Cases are a stain on the country's history and their racist foundations must be addressed. Some Supreme Court justices have also spoken out against the Insular Cases.

In a statement, the advocates said, "The Insular Cases are rooted in racist and imperialist ideologies and must be overturned to ensure equal rights for all U.S. citizens, regardless of where they reside. We urge the Department of Justice to take decisive action in rejecting these discriminatory rulings and work towards granting full constitutional rights to the residents of U.S. territories." The group emphasized that addressing this long-standing injustice is essential for upholding the principles of equality and fairness in the United States.

Key Takeaways

  • Advocates urge DOJ to reject racist Insular Cases rulings
  • Insular Cases denied equal constitutional rights to 3.6M U.S. citizens
  • Rulings based on presumed racial inferiority of non-white people
  • Overturning Insular Cases seen as critical for equal treatment
  • DOJ acknowledged racist rhetoric, but advocates say more action needed