Bloomberg Law
Nov. 9, 2021, 9:46 AM

Biden Disappoints Puerto Rico in Supreme Court Benefits Case

Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson
Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson

The Justice Department will defend the government’s decision not to extend certain Social Security benefits to residents of Puerto Rico, in a move that civil rights groups say goes against promises Joe Biden made during the 2020 presidential campaign.

The justices will consider Tuesday whether Congress violated the Constitution’s equal protection guarantees when it extended Supplemental Security Income benefits for the elderly and disabled to the states, Washington, D.C., and the Northern Mariana Islands, but not Puerto Rico, whose residents are U.S. citizens.

The government argues in United States v. Vaello-Madero that it has rational reasons for distinguishing between the ...

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