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Puerto Rico Index
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Constitutional Background

The 'Commonwealth of Puerto Rico' is associated with the US with indigenous inhabitants being US citizens (though without vote in US presidential elections).  Puerto elects one non-voting delegate to the US House of Representatives, but has no representation in the US Senate. The Constitution was adopted on 3 March 1952 and went into effect on 25 July of that year (after approval by the US Congress on 3 July).

There is debate among constitutional commentators as to whether the establishment of the 'Commonwealth' in 1952 constituted a valid exercise of the Puerto Rican people's right to self-determination.  However, the genesis of new US States regularly includes some time as a dependent territory.  Therefore, Puerto Rico's current situation might be seen as transitory.

History and News

  • 4 Nov 1962: Amendment of the Constitution (elimination of the social rights in Section 20 of Article II).
  • 10 Dec 1961: Amendment of the Constitution (Section 2 of Article VI).
  • 4 Nov 1952: Amendment of the Constitution (allowing for private schools in Section 5 of Article II and incorporating the Puerto Rican Federal Relations Act in Section 3 of Article VII).
  • 3 March 1952: Adoption of Constitution.

For methodology see: Comparing Constitutions and International Constitutional Law.
© 1994 - December 18th, 2010 / For corrections please contact A. Tschentscher.