This talk will deal with the position Puerto Rico occupies within the system of government of the United States. In a nutshell, Puerto Rico's relationship to the United States is quite similar to that of one of the fifty states, with a very important exception: the inhabitants of Puerto Rico do not vote in federal elections. They do not vote for President and Vice President of the United States nor do they have representation in the House of Representatives or the Senate, except for a non voting delegate to the House. However, federal legislation, executive regulations and presidential executive orders apply generally to Puerto Rico, unless the rulemaker provides otherwise. The federal court system also functions in Puerto Rico, where a federal district court operates. Decisions of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico are reviewable by the Supreme Court of the United States in the same cases where that court exercises jurisdiction over the highest courts of the fifty states. A democratic deficit, therefore, is evident in this relationship.
Álvarez González, José Julián
"Puerto Rico’s Position within the United States System of Government,"
International Journal of Legal Information:
2, Article 12.
Available at: http://scholarship.law.cornell.edu/ijli/vol37/iss2/12