Court Upholds Puerto Ricans’ Exclusion From Benefits Program

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has upheld the differential treatment of residents of Puerto Rico, ruling that Congress was within its power to exclude them from a benefits program that’s available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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By an 8-1 vote, the court found that declaring Puerto Ricans uneligible for Supplemental Security Income, which pays benefits to blind, older and disabled Americans, was not unconstitutionally discriminatory.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was the sole dissident, is a Puerto Rican-born judge.

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