Thursday, November 08, 2012

In Convoluted Vote Puerto Rico Takes a Step Toward Statehood

Tuesday, for the first time in its history, more Puerto Ricans favored becoming a state than maintaining the island's status quo as a U.S. Commonwealth. But put away the needle and thread for now — it'll likely be at least 2015 before America sews a 51st state onto its flag.

Adding a state to the union is a fairly easy process, legally speaking. Article Four of the Constitution allows Congress to admit new states into the union with simple majority votes in both houses of Congress (and a Presidential signature). Puerto Rico is a United States territory without its own sovereignty, so technically Congress doesn't even need the island's approval.
Read the rest here.

It is worth noting that the referendum was very confusing. While a majority did vote to change the island's status fully a third of the voters did not bother to vote at all on the second part. So I am dubious about how strong the sentiment for statehood is. That said the purely partisan objections to admitting PR to the Union are offensive. If you want an taste of this see the commentary on this thread over at Free Republic. Warning FR is an extremist website and is emphatically NOT endorsed by A/O.


Visibilium said...

Getting out of statehood isn't so easy.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Indeed it would be extremely difficult. In theory I would suppose that a super majority of the states could approve something like that. But it might require a constitutional amendment.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Steve Sailer has commented that the bizarrely structured vote appeared designed to keep things uncertain and indefinite, so everybody who benefits from Puerto Rico's uncertain status (such as Microsoft) can keep leveraging the situation for various concessions.