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Puerto Ricans Can Press Case for Federal Benefits Eligibility

April 17, 2019, 5:45 PM

The federal government must face a lawsuit challenging its decision to exclude Puerto Ricans from food stamps, Social Security, and Medicare drug subsidies.

Two U.S. Supreme Court decisions upholding Puerto Rican ineligibility remain good law, despite heavy criticism, a federal judge said April 16. But the facts on the ground may have changed enough in the past 40 years to warrant a different outcome using the same legal standard, he said.

Under those rulings, Congress must show it was rational to think excluding Puerto Ricans from those programs might advance a legitimate government purpose, but it doesn’t have to prove...

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