Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Puerto Rico Supreme Court rejects new governor's confirmation, calls for his immediate resignation

Posted By on Wed, Aug 7, 2019 at 2:58 PM

Former Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló appointed Pedro Pierluisi as Secretary of State - PHOTO VIA RICARDO ROSSELLÓ/TWITTER
  • Photo via Ricardo Rosselló/Twitter
  • Former Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló appointed Pedro Pierluisi as Secretary of State
After waves of protests across Puerto Rico and in Florida eventually forced then-governor Ricardo Rosselló to the brink of resignation, he quickly appointed Pedro Pierluisi as the island's Secretary of State and thus, his successor to the governorship.

The Supreme Court of Puerto Rico ruled today, however, that the legal loophole that allowed Rosselló's appointment was unconstitutional. The legal body issued a unanimous verdict Wednesday calling the law unconstitutional due to problems with the confirmation procedure.

The ruling means Pierluisi will not be able to stay on as governor.
The court found it is "unconstitutional to allow a Secretary of State to become Governor without having to be confirmed by both legislative chambers," according to a statement on the ruling.

Puerto Rico's House of Representatives confirmed Pierluisi as Secretary of State an hour before he was sworn in as governor on Friday, NBC news reported, while the Senate did not vote on the nomination.

The Supreme Court's ruling is based on a specific portion of the succession law that allowed non-confirmation of the secretary of state in the case of an emergency.

Hundreds had gathered in Orlando in July, joining protests across Puerto Rico demanding the resignation of Rosselló. It sparked from a group chat between him and his advisors that came to light, revealing misogynistic, sexist comments and comments mocking journalists.

The Center for Investigative Journalism published nearly 900 pages in documents compiling the chats.

Florida has one of the largest Puerto Rican populations in the country, coming just under New York with nearly 850,000 residents counted in the last census.

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