Tag Archives: US

Hamilton to Stay On the $10 Bill

After a lot of discussion and debate, Alexander Hamilton will remain on the $10 bill. Instead, Harriet Tubman will be featured on the $20 bill and various figures from the women’s suffrage movement will be featured on the $10 bill along with Hamilton. Removing Hamilton would almost certainly be much more controversial than removing Andrew Jackson since Hamilton was one of the most important founding fathers and in fact was a key figure in the early treasury and monetary policy of the US.

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More on the Puerto Rico Gay Marriage Decision

There’s an interesting article in Bloomberg from a Harvard law professor on the same-sex marriage case in Puerto Rico. This one provides some analysis from an actual legal expert on the usage of the Insular Cases in the decision. The author thinks that the reasoning in the decision is ultimately not well supported but also that the status of Puerto Rico as defined by the Insular Cases is basically indefensible.

Could the Insular Cases Be Reviewed?

A federal judge has invalidated same-sex marriage in Puerto Rico. The general consensus seems to be that this will almost certainly be overturned at the Supreme Court, which ruled that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. One interesting thing that people have brought up is that the judge cited the Insular Cases, which were a series of court cases from the early 1900s defining the relationship between the US and its newly acquired colonies such as Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. Among other things, they basically created a form of second-class citizenship for the residents of those places and declared that most constitutional rights didn’t need to apply in colonies. Most of that has since been overturned by Congress but as far as I know the Insular Cases largely still stand as a matter of constitutional law. It would be interesting, then, if the modern Supreme Court ends up returning┬áto those decisions.

How Long Progress Takes

Bloomberg has a nice graphic showing how long various major social movements took between state action and federal action. Many movements, like interracial marriage, prohibition, and women’s suffrage took many years before anything happening on a federal level. In the cases of prohibition and women’s suffrage, constitutional amendments were required, while interracial marriage was legalized across all of the US by court action, as with yesterday’s gay marriage decision. At least for the set of issues shown here, the timeline has been shortening, and the page suggests that marijuana legalization may be next and could happen very quickly.