Justices Trumpet Tribal Sovereignty In Puerto Rico Ruling

By Andrew Westney (June 14, 2016, 10:32 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling last week that Puerto Rico lacks sovereignty for purposes of double jeopardy in criminal prosecutions, which rejected the commonwealth's attempt to liken itself to Native American tribes, strengthened tribes' historic sovereign status and their power to combat crime on reservations.

Puerto Rico had argued that it should be considered on a par with tribes in being able to prosecute defendants for the same crime as the federal government under the U.S. Constitution's double jeopardy clause. And in his dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer said that the territory actually has a better claim than tribes to be considered...

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