Just weeks after the one-year anniversary of Hurricanes Maria and Irma hitting Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the issue of disenfranchisement in U.S. territories will be considered by both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Organization of American States Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the same day. “The opportunity to have either the Supreme Court or the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights take up the issue of voting rights in U.S. territories is momentous in its own right. But to have both do it on the same day is something truly special,” said Neil Weare, president and founder of Equally American, a non-profit organization that advocates for equality and civil rights for the nearly 4 million Americans who live in U.S. territories. This comes as the U.S. Senate considers whether to confirm President Trump’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
Residents of U.S. territories are the only Americans who cannot vote for President and lack any representation in the U.S. Senate.
“The debate over confirming Judge Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court is just one more reminder of how nearly 4 million Americans in U.S. territories are left out of the political process, even when decisions are being made that will directly affect their lives,” Weare said.