Puerto Rico

Constitutional Background

The 'Commonwealth of Puerto Rico' is associated with the US with indigenous inhabitants being US citizens (though without vote in US presidential elections).  Puerto elects one non-voting delegate to the US House of Representatives, but has no representation in the US Senate. The Constitution was adopted on 3 March 1952 and went into effect on 25 July of that year (after approval by the US Congress on 3 July).

There is debate among constitutional commentators as to whether the establishment of the 'Commonwealth' in 1952 constituted a valid exercise of the Puerto Rican people's right to self-determination.  However, the genesis of new US States regularly includes some time as a dependent territory.  Therefore, Puerto Rico's current situation might be seen as transitory.

History and News

  • 4 Nov 1962: Amendment of the Constitution (elimination of the social rights in Section 20 of Article II).
  • 10 Dec 1961: Amendment of the Constitution (Section 2 of Article VI).
  • 4 Nov 1952: Amendment of the Constitution (allowing for private schools in Section 5 of Article II and incorporating the Puerto Rican Federal Relations Act in Section 3 of Article VII).
  • 3 March 1952: Adoption of Constitution.

For methodology see: Comparing Constitutions and International Constitutional Law.
© 1994 - 11.2.2022 / For corrections please contact A. Tschentscher.