Justices Trumpet Tribal Sovereignty In Puerto Rico Ruling
The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that Puerto Rico lacks sovereignty for purposes of double jeopardy in criminal prosecutions. The commonwealth claimed that it possessed sovereignty like that of Native American tribes, which are subject to the plenary power of the federal government but retain their own authority in prosecutions.
Puerto Rico “tried in their argument to align themselves with tribes, and that always makes people nervous,” said Native American Law attorney James Meggesto. “Because if the court analogizes that situation to a tribal law situation and then rules against that point of law, then obviously tribes might be hurt by that.”
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