Bloomberg Law
April 28, 2022, 4:18 PM

Gorsuch Call to Overturn ‘Rotten’ Cases Tested by New Appeal

Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson
Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson

A case about birthright citizenship for residents of American Samoa could prompt the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider longstanding rulings Justice Neil Gorsuch blasted as resting “on a rotten foundation.”

At issue are decisions known as the Insular Cases from the early 1900s that deprive Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories of full constitutional protections. Although the justices appear to no longer consider the decisions, which Gorsuch has previously said are based on “ugly racist stereotypes,” good law, lower federal courts continue to rely on them when dealing with U.S. territories.

The justices ruled 8-1 on April 21 in United ...

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