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Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez slammed the Supreme Court on Thursday as ‘imperialist’ after it ruled that Puerto Ricans were not entitled to the same access to benefits as other Americans.

The court voted 8-1 that Congress had the power to exclude them from a benefits program that’s available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 

The verdict provoked outrage in Puerto Rico and disbelief among campaigners.

Ocasio-Cortez, whose father’s family came from the island, made her anger clear. 

‘2022 Imperialist Neo-colony Vibes: when my cousins can be drafted into war by a government they don’t even have a right to vote for and denies them benefits, yet that same gov can exploit their land into a tax haven for crypto billionaires & tax evaders,’ she tweeted.

Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez blasted the Supreme Court after it decided 8-1 that Puerto Ricans were not entitled to the same access to benefits as other Americans

Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez blasted the Supreme Court after it decided 8-1 that Puerto Ricans were not entitled to the same access to benefits as other Americans

Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez blasted the Supreme Court after it decided 8-1 that Puerto Ricans were not entitled to the same access to benefits as other Americans

Ocasio-Cortez, whose father's family came from Puerto Rico, said double standards were at work for people living on the island

Ocasio-Cortez, whose father's family came from Puerto Rico, said double standards were at work for people living on the island

Ocasio-Cortez, whose father’s family came from Puerto Rico, said double standards were at work for people living on the island

Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Justice Brett Kavanaugh

Justice Brett Kavanaugh

Justice Sonia Sotomayor (l), whose parents were from Puerto Rico, was the sole dissenter. But the ruling, authored by Justice Brett Kavanaugh (r), found Congress acted validly under a constitutional provision that allows territories to be treated different than states

The justices backed President Biden’s administration in reversing a lower court’s ruling that a 1972 decision by Congress to exclude Puerto Rico from the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program violated a U.S. Constitution requirement that laws apply equally to everyone.

The ruling denies benefits to an estimated 300,000 people on the Caribbean island who otherwise might qualify. The federal government has said an expansion covering Puerto Rico would have cost $2 billion a year.

‘Enough of this colonial status that discriminates against us and affects our quality of life. The only and the best solution is statehood,’ Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico’s pro-statehood governor, said in a statement.

Puerto Rico’s status is a divisive issue on the island, with some favoring remaining a territory while others push for statehood or even independence from the United States.

The Supreme Court's ruling overturns a lower court'd decision that the treatment of Puerto Ricans was unconstititional

The Supreme Court's ruling overturns a lower court'd decision that the treatment of Puerto Ricans was unconstititional

The Supreme Court’s ruling overturns a lower court’d decision that the treatment of Puerto Ricans was unconstititional

The ruling, authored by conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh, found that Congress acted validly under a constitutional provision letting lawmakers treat territories differently than states.

Kavanaugh said a ruling extending benefits to Puerto Rico could have ‘far-reaching consequences’ inflicting additional financial burdens on its residents – including that they be required to pay federal income tax, which they do not currently do.

‘The Constitution does not require that extreme outcome,’ Kavanaugh wrote.

Liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor, whose parents were from Puerto Rico, was the sole dissenter. Sotomayor pointed out that as the island does not have voting representation in Congress, its people cannot rely on Congress to recognize their rights.

Source: Daily Mail

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