Perhaps no issue raised more controversy during my interviews than the interpretation of a case from the PuertoRicoSupremeCourt, People v. Castellón Calderon, 2000 TSPR 72 (2000), which involved judicial dismissal of a domestic violence case at the preliminary hearing stage in the context of a domestic violence matter. In the courtroom, I observed several instances where the judge would state that under Castellón, the court was required to dismiss a domestic violence case if the victim did not want to go forward with the proceeding, and the prosecutor agreed with this disposition. Other judges interviewed interpreted Castellón to be discretionary rather than mandatory, permitting them to continue with a case, whether or not the prosecutor and the victim did not want to proceed. However, many judges exercised that discretion broadly. For example, one judge stated that she would dismiss a case that involved verbal abuse or minor pushing. Under Law 54, however, these acts are criminal conduct. The different treatment that judges give to these cases creates inconsistency, and reduces respect for the judiciary. The law needs to be applied in the same way to all defendants. While judges obviously have discretion in certain areas, an issue as important as the judicial dismissal of domestic violence cases cannot be interpreted in dramatically different ways.
of this legislation was struck down by the PuertoRicoSupremeCourt on constitutional grounds, the Commonwealth is still responsible for making certain additional annual contributions to the System. The legislation provides for two classes of additional contributions by the Commonwealth to the System: (i) a Teacher’s Justice Uniform Contribution (the “Uniform Contribution”) from the General Fund to the System of $30 million in each of fiscal years 2017 and 2018 and $60 million thereafter until fiscal year 2042, and (ii) an Annual Additional Contribution commencing on fiscal year 2019 and continuing until fiscal year 2042 (the “Annual Additional Contribution”) equal to the amount determined by the actuaries as necessary to prevent the projected value of the gross assets of the System from falling below $300 million during any subsequent fiscal year. In April 2015, the System’s actuaries prepared an actuarial study to determine an estimate of the Annual Additional Contribution and, based on various assumptions, projected that the Annual Additional Contribution for fiscal year 2019 and each fiscal year thereafter would be approximately $450 million. The actuarial study notes that if the Annual Additional Contribution is not paid in full during the intended fiscal years, the amount would increase in the following years. The actuaries also noted that if the System were unable to sell certain illiquid assets (consisting primarily of loans to members), currently amounting to approximately $450 million, the System may face liquidity issues since its assets are projected to fall below the $450 million level during fiscal year 2018, one year before the first payment of the Annual Additional Contribution. The funding needs of the Teachers Retirement System result in additional fiscal challenges for the Commonwealth.
Curiously enough, the dissent in this case disagreed with the majority as to the interpretation of a Montana statute related with a terminally ill patient’s right to a dignified death. This could be in tension with a PuertoRicoSupremeCourt decision that strengthened the right of patients to refuse medical treatment that would result in death. See Lozada Tirado v. Tirado Flecha, 177 P.R. Dec. 893 (P.R. 2010). See also Patricia Silva Musalem, La Fe ante la Muerte: Perspectivas sobre la eutanasia desde el catoli- cismo, islamismo, hinduismo y juda´ısmo, 5 R EV . C LAVE , R EV . E STUDIOS C R´ITICOS D ER . 151, 162 (2010) (When discussing the right to die and assisted suicide in PuertoRico, the author only references one U.S. State: Montana).
Abortion has been legal in PuertoRico since 1974 following the SupremeCourt decision to endorse the famous Roe v Wade case. In 1980, the SupremeCourt set out the legal arguments for abortion in PuertoRico in its judgement in the Pueblo v Mendoza case. Induced abortions can be practised only in private fa mily planning clinics and are performed by doctors specializing in gynaecology and obstetrics. Seven such clinics are currently operating.
The UPR School of Law Library, established in 1913, is the preeminent law library in PuertoRico and the biggest in the entire Caribbean Region. The Library’s collection brings together the Civil Law tradition and the Anglo-American Common law tradition, both of which permeate Puerto Rico’s unique legal system. The bibliographical collection consists of more than 400,000 volumes, both in print and microform. It also has more than 4,000 serial publications. The Puerto Rican legal collection is particularly well diversified; not only does it feature published material but it also encompasses the archives of former justices of the SupremeCourt of PuertoRico. The United States collection is no less impressive. It contains laws, regulations and opinions published by all Federal and State courts. Since 1991, the library has served as a repository for documents and publications of the US Government Printing Office. The collection also encompasses an ample selection of Latin-American, European, and Anglo-American treaties. The Library has an excellent collection of law journals, dictionaries, encyclopedias, codes, and decisions by administrative dependencies.
In recognition that PuertoRico might not be familiar to “outsiders”, an orientation session was arranged for the Panel specifically to provide some background to the island and this included very informative and entertaining lectures from Professors Acevedo and Freyre from the University on the history, politics and economy of PuertoRico that put into context the role of the University both domestically and regionally.
(“[T]his case implicates the right of access to the courts * * *”) (emphasis added); id. at 1994 (“Title II, as it applies to the class of cases implicating the fundamental right of access to courts, constitutes a valid exercise of Congress’ § 5 authority to enforce the guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment.”) (emphasis added). present in the courthouse, but also the broader right to a “meaningful opportunity to be heard.” Id. at 1988. In describing the history of violations of this right, the Court gave examples both of physical exclusion from courthouses, and also of failure to provide sign language interpreters to deaf litigants and discriminatory rules that excluded people with hearing and vision impairments from courtroom participation. See supra at 6 & n.3; 124 S. Ct. at 1990-1991 & n.14. The Court concluded that this history provided a predicate for enacting prophylactic
Perspectives on Present Practice, 55 Drake L. Rev. 39, 43 (2006)). This is especially true in Iowa, where the Constitution establishes the SupremeCourt as “a court for the correction of errors at law.” Iowa Const. art. V, § 4. This constitutional text does not empower the Court to modify judgments based on unpreserved error: “If a litigant fails to present an issue to the district court and obtain a ruling on the same, it cannot be said that we are correcting an error at law.” State v. Tidwell, No. 13-1080, 2013 WL 6405367, at *2 (Iowa Ct. App. Dec. 5, 2013) (McDonald, J.).
As I have indicated previously, there seems to be very little interest among Puerto Ricans in independence. What they want is an improvement in their status, with full Constitutional rights and full participation in all welfare programs. Although that is not likely to happen in the foreseeable future, the people of PuertoRico are probably much better off in their present relationship with the United States than they would be as an independent nation. They are now United States citizens, free to enter any part of the United States at will, with the backing of a powerful nation anywhere in the world. In economic terms, i.e., taxation, welfare, investment, trade, etc., the balance is heavily in favor of PuertoRico. Independence would immediately make PuertoRico j ust another poor, struggling third world country, 77 with
The period of sustained economic growth between 1950 and 1970 was seemingly attributable to the “American connection.” However, PuertoRico was successful because it was competing against manufacturing regions in the United States with higher labor costs, and exporting to the mainland market. This favorable investment situation quickly ended with the onset of globalization. But by the mid 1980s and through the 1990s technological advances in production, communications and transportation undermined Puerto Rico’s competitive position. International treaties and multilateral agreements on trade (NAFTA, CAFTA, Free Trade Agreements) irrevocably ended any inherent advantages that the American connection offered PuertoRico. Puerto Rico’s economy was kept afloat during this period primarily because Section 936 continued to generate huge profits for the pharmaceutical industry. While the Section 936 helped enrich foreign corporations, these did have not enduring impact for Puerto Rico’s economy. Investors were the primary beneficiaries of Section 936, and not the residents of PuertoRico who received wages substantially below mainland wages for the same work. PuertoRico development strategy was designed to promote growth without equity.
Results from the online survey were instrumental in developing a set of energy conservation recommendations for the current energy consumption model in PuertoRico. With 883 responses, the survey results showed major trends in energy use among the different occupancy categories. Major sources of energy consumption were noted by the group and identified as potential areas for improvement. Based upon these identified trends, the group was able to develop strategies that may alleviate the issues associated with energy inefficiencies. The residential energy efficiency recommendations provide Puerto Ricans and the AAE with areas to focus their attention in regards to home energy consumption. The recommendations are supported by actual data since they were developed from the results obtained from the surveys and audits. The simplicity of the recommendations is promising in that fact that they are feasible for residents to implement in their homes, thereby increasing the odds of a more energy efficient island.
In summary, one can say that the inflation in PuertoRico over the last generation originates more in the supply side than in the demand. The evidence suggests that inflation in factor prices has led only partially to heightened consumer demand. For example, the very high population density of the island and its legal status within the US, translated into steady and significant increases in the real price of land. To the extent that locally owned assets (e.g., land) were being liquidated for consumption, the causation of inflationary pressure
The internal migration decision of Puerto Ricans residing in the U.S. may be a function of the individual-level characteristics of the migrant, as well as place-level attributes of the migrant’s current or desired location. To simultaneously estimate the influence of these factors on the migration decision requires a model which allows discrete, but unordered, outcomes. Multinomial logistic regression, which is conceptually similar to repeated logistic regressions between all potential pairing of outcomes, is commonly used to estimate models predicting nominal outcomes. Relative to fitting a series of logistic regressions, which would result in the use of a separate sample for each pair of outcomes, the MLNM estimates all pairings simultaneously using the full sample (Long and Freese 2006). The multinomial logistic model has as the dependent variable the preferred alternative for each individual, denoted here as the actual migration decision that each individual made. The coefficient estimates reflect the impact of the included covariates on the preferred migration outcome, relative to the base outcome.
Jiménez de Wagenheim (1998) offers insight into the history of U.S. interest in PuertoRico, dating back to Thomas Jefferson. As President, he predicted that the Greater Antilles would someday be part of the United States. The Monroe Doctrine, destined to warn France and Spain against further conquests in the Caribbean, followed this in 1823. In the 1850s, the U.S. sought to establish a coal fueling station for its ships in the waters near Santo Domingo and later to purchase Cuba from Spain. The Civil War diverted attention from this project temporarily, but in the ensuing period, the U.S. sought to industrialize and connect East and West Coasts through a network of railroads. It also became a strong financial power, and developed an interest in “empire building”, or expansionism. Cuba was well on its way to independence, so annexation of this island was unlikely. Meanwhile, in New York, Puerto Rican and Cuban independence seekers had joined forces under the heading of Cuban Revolutionary Party (CRP)-Puerto Rican Section (PRS). From France, Betances pledged his support and he was appointed Delegate General of the CRP. Some of the Puerto Rican group withdrew, leaving Dr. José Julio Henna as head of the PRS. The two sections met in Manhattan and designed the Puerto Rican and Cuban flags, respectively. There was talk of a separate
do with the state of Oregon mandating children to go to public schools, it should be considered when developing a reformed education system. The reason for this is because Puerto Rico’s policy on language needs to not only be implemented in public schools to be successful, but also as a policy for private schools on the island. The extent to which parents should have a right to direct the upbringing of their
In 1921, in order to “spur the development of labor- intensive industries in PuertoRico and improve the island’s high unemployment rates” (Laney 1998b, 6), the tax subsidy found in Section 936 was enacted. This section declares Puerto Ricans exempt from federal income tax, and corpora- tions based in PuertoRico exempt from federal corporate tax. Many Fortune 500 companies realized that Section 936 made PuertoRico a tax haven for capital-intensive manufacturing, contrary to its original purpose. Section 936 indeed proved to be a perverse economic tool. It created a development strategy founded on the hypothesis that if it were to be elim- inated, which would occur under statehood, the Puerto Rican economy would collapse. This dependency was detrimental not only to the island, but also to the U.S. Treasury. In 1989, the Treasury Department was found to be paying $1,835 more per employee in tax losses than the employee received in salary from his or her employment (Laney 1998b, 11).
On February 6, 2008, the Governor, in his State of the Commonwealth address, proposed suspending a portion of the current sales and use tax, for a reduction from 7% to 2.5%, and re-instituting a revamped excise tax on goods imported into PuertoRico to help stimulate the Commonwealth’s economy. The proposal will require passage of legislation to become law, and includes provisions that will continue the earmarking of sales tax revenues equal to 1% of the total sales tax rate to the Dedicated Sales Tax Fund and other mechanisms currently in place to ensure the security for the outstanding bonds of the PuertoRico Sales Tax Financing Corporation (“COFINA”). See “Tax Reform” under PuertoRico Taxes, Other Revenues and Expenditures, “Government Development Bank for PuertoRico – Sales Tax Financing Corporation” under Public Corporations and “Public Sector Debt” under Debt in the Commonwealth Report. On February 7, 2008, the Governor stated that any proposal from his administration would not impair the rights of bondholders and that he will veto any counter-proposal from the Legislature of PuertoRico that would constitute a possible impairment of the rights of bondholders. On February 7, 2008, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Service (“S&P”) placed the COFINA bonds on CreditWatch Negative and Fitch Ratings Ltd. (“Fitch”) placed the same bonds on Rating Watch. On March 14, 2008, the Governor submitted to the Legislature a proposed bill establishing the conditions for suspending the collection of the 4.5% sales and use tax (which is the portion of the total sales and use tax to be collected for the General Fund), establishing and funding a debt service reserve fund for the benefit of the COFINA bonds and re-instituting the revamped excise tax. Said bill has been structured to safeguard the rights of COFINA bondholders and is aimed at preserving the current rating of the COFINA bonds. This action is expected to be revenue neutral for the General Fund. The legislation proposed by the Governor was not approved by the Legislature.