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HomeCommentaryLegislature CornerLegislature Corner: Plaskett Makes Statement on DOJ’s Response to Calls to Condemn...

Legislature Corner: Plaskett Makes Statement on DOJ’s Response to Calls to Condemn Insular Cases

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Congresswoman Plaskett shared the following statement about the U.S. Department of Justice’s response to calls from members of Congress to condemn the Insular Cases:

“I am pleased that the Department of Justice has used this crucial opportunity to denounce the Insular Cases. Last month, I co-led a bipartisan, bicameral letter, signed by 43 members of Congress, urging the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to condemn and cease reliance on the racist rulings of the Insular Cases that continue to negatively impact U.S. territories, today.

“The Department of Justice shared their emphatic agreement that the racist language and logic of the Insular Cases deserve no place in the law of the United States. The Department of Justice, ‘unequivocally condemns the racist rhetoric and reasoning of the Insular Cases,’ and it unambiguously agrees that ‘such reasoning and rhetoric are irreconcilable with foundational American principles of equality, justice and democracy.’ The Department of Justice will ensure that litigators do not rely upon the racist rhetoric and reasoning of the Insular Cases.

“For far too long, this series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions have justified a racist and colonial legal framework that has disenfranchised the more than three million residents in the U.S. territories. The Insular Cases have denied residents equal constitutional rights, and any reliance upon these racist cases is indefensible.

“This is an important step in advancing equity for the U.S. territories. While the efforts predate my time as a member of Congress, I am proud to see our efforts come to fruition – and have the Department of Justice clarify their position and denounce the Insular Cases. I will continue to advocate for the reversal of the Insular Cases to ensure the fair treatment of the residents of the U.S. territories.”

Stacey E. Plaskett is the U.S. Virgin Islands Delegate to Congress.

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