SCOTUS

SCOTUS DICE QUE SE PUEDE A ACUSAR NUEVAMENTE AL EX SENADOR MARTINEZ

En el día de hoy, el SCOTUS decidió que el Gobierno Federal puede enjuiciar nuevamente al ex senador Héctor Martínez y al empresario Juan Bravo. El SCOTUS determinó que la convicción que fue revocada por el Tribunal de Apelaciones para el Primer Circuito no era impedimento para ello, a pesar de que había sido exonerado de viajar para violar el 18 U.S.C. sec. 666, por lo cual si fue condenado. Falta ver si el Departamento de Justicia Federal los acusará nuevamente. Para ello hay que volver a la decisión del 1er Circuito en U.S. v. Fernández, 722 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2013).

 

En una larga opinión, el 1er Circuito fue paso a paso sobre todas las objeciones de la defensa a la convicción de Bravo y Martínez, rechazando todas excepto la que trataba sobre las instrucciones al jurado. En ese punto, el 1er Circuito determinó que la instrucción mezclaba impermisiblemente el soborno con un “gratuity” y contrario a todos los otros Circuitos Apelativos anteriores, decidió que el 666 no incluye como delito el “gratuity.” ¿Cual es la diferencia? En un soborno, tiene que haber un acuerdo y “pago” anteriores a la acción favorable del sobornado y en el “gratuity” no lo hay ya que la misma se da después del acto favorable. El 1er Circuito en el caso de Fernández dijo claramente que existía evidencia para ambos, ver la página 20 de la decisión. Pero si el 666 no incluye el “gratuity,” no existe otro delito federal que prohíba a un senador estatal el recibir un “gratuity” y por ende no habría delito.

 

¿Que pasará ahora? El DOJ tiene que sopesar si tiene suficiente evidencia para que un jurado encuentre culpable a Bravo y Martínez de soborno bajo el 666. Si decide que sí, tiene que llamar a un Gran Jurado, presentar la evidencia, que el Gran Jurado emita la acusación y presentar la evidencia a un nuevo jurado. Veremos que piensa el DOJ.

Ahora les escucharé/leeré todo lo dicho aquí sin darme crédito.  Just you wait.

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THE PUERTO RICO MORATORIUM LAW IS CHALLENGED IN NEW YORK

 

 

On April 2016, Governor Alejandro García Padilla Act Num. 21 of 2016 known as the Puerto Rico Emergency Moratorium and Financial Rehabilitation Act (Moratorium law). This law establishes a moratorium on law suits against PR for collecting money owed, inter alia, on bonds debt. In addition, it allows the Governor not to pay certain debts and to prioritize providing essential services, which are not defined in the Act. Today, Jacana Holdings, I LLC et als filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York challenging the constitutionality of this law. It joined two other suits in the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico where Brigade Leveraged Capital Structures Fund, Ltd., et als and National Public Finance Guarantee Corporation are challenging the law.

 

Brigade, the first to file challenging the law, did so in its amended complaint of May 16, 2016, claiming it conflicted with 11 U.S.C. § 903 and was therefore preempted as decided by the First Circuit in Franklin California v. Commonwealth, 805 F. 3d 322 (2015) and later affirmed by the SCOTUS on June 13, 2016 in that a state, including PR, cannot make its owns bankruptcy or one that changes payment terms. This power belongs only to Congress. In addition, Brigade claims the Moratorium law) impairs contractual obligations, constitutes a taking without just compensation, discriminates against non-residents in violation of the dormant commerce clause of the Constitution and denies access to Courts.

 

National filed two days after the SCOTUS decided the Franklin California case and claimed the Moratorium law is preempted by 11 U.S.C. § 903 and other sections of the Bankruptcy Code, impairs contractual obligations, constitutes a taking without just compensation, and denies access to Courts.

 

Jacana Holdings claims need a little more explaining. In March 2014, PR issued $3.5 billons in General Obligation bonds and waived its sovereign immunity, concented to be sued in NY courts and agreed to have NY law rule the obligations. Hence, Jacana Holdings filed in the Sourthern District of NY claimin that the Moratorium law could not alter NY contract law, that the law violated Article VI of the PR Constitution, the PR and US Constitution prohibition on impairment of contractual obligations, that it is unreasonable and not an adequate emergency measure, the takings and due procees clauses of both Constitutions and denies access to Courts. Jacana Holdings does not claim the Moratorium law is preempted by the Bankruptcy laws of the US.

 

Any of these claims would render the Moratorium law inoperative and in my view, all claims are correct, especially the one’s pertaining to section 903 since it was recently affirmed by the SCOTUS. Given that Judge Besosa, who was the District Judge who decided the PR Recovery Act was unconstitutional in Franklin, has the Brigade and National cases, I expect a prompt decision on the issues before the Souther District even considers the issue. And I am sure Judge Besosa will strike down the Moratorium law.

 

SANCHEZ VALLE NO ACALLA LAS MENTIRAS DEL PPD

 

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A pesar del contundente golpe que PR v. Sánchez Valle le acaba de propinar al ELA, aún hay voces que niegan la realidad de las consecuencias de la opinión. Héctor Ferrer, al que distingo y aprecio, salió de la reunión del PPD del viernes y dijo así:

 

Ferrer, en tanto, precisó que la reformulación del ELA se fundamentaría en una relación no colonial ni territorial, y que se basaría en la soberanía del pueblo, buscará ampliar al ámbito de gobierno propio de los puertorriqueños, preservarla ciudadanía estadounidense y, al mismo tiempo, la identidad nacional puertorriqueña, y promoverá desarrollar la presencia internacional de la Isla.

 

El problema con esta visión es que la Juez Kagan le cerró las puertas a ésta interpretación cuando dijo a las páginas 16-17 de su opinión en Sánchez Valle:

All that separates our view from petitioner’s is what that congressional recognition means for Puerto Rico’s ability to bring successive prosecutions. We agree that Congress has broad latitude to develop innovative ap­proaches to territorial governance, see U. S. Const., Art. IV, §3, cl. 2; that Congress may thus enable a territory’s people to make large-scale choices about their own politi­cal institutions; and that Congress did exactly that in enacting Public Law 600 and approving the Puerto Rico Constitution—prime examples of what Felix Frankfurter once termed “inventive statesmanship” respecting the island. Memorandum for the Secretary of War, in Hear­ings on S. 4604 before the Senate Committee on Pacific Islands and Porto Rico, 63d Cong., 2d Sess., 22 (1914); see Reply Brief 18–20. But one power Congress does not have, just in the nature of things: It has no capacity, no magic wand or airbrush, to erase or otherwise rewrite its own foundational role in conferring political authority. Or otherwise said, the delegator cannot make itself any less so—no matter how much authority it opts to hand over. And our dual-sovereignty test makes this historical fact dispositive: If an entity’s authority to enact and enforce criminal law ultimately comes from Congress, then it cannot follow a federal prosecution with its own. That is true of Puerto Rico, because Congress authorized and approved its Constitution, from which prosecutorial power now flows.

En síntesis, la autoridad última sobre PR la tiene el Congreso. Más aún, en el argumento oral del caso, la Juez Kagan preguntó a la abogada del Solicitor General, el representante del Gobierno Federal en la vista, lo siguiente:

JUSTICE KAGAN: Do you think it’s not possible, Ms. Saharsky I mean, putting aside whether Congress has done it here, but you think it’s simply not possible for Congress to confer sovereignty in the sense   that would matter for the Double Jeopardy Clause?

MS. SAHARSKY: Well, it certainly could by making it a State

 

JUSTICE KAGAN: Yes

 

MS SAHARSKY: or by making it independent.

 

JUSTICE KAGAN: But but but not short of that.

 

MS. SAHARSKY: We think that that would just be fundamentally inconsistent with the constitutional design. . .

 

Ésta es la posición oficial del Gobierno de Obama. Más aún, en el Report by the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status éste dijo a la página 26:

Third, consistent with the legal conclusions reached by prior Task Force reports, one aspect of some proposals for enhanced Commonwealth remains constitutionally problematic—proposals that would establish a relationship between Puerto Rico and the Federal Government that could not be altered except by mutual consent This was a focus of past Task Force reports The Obama Administration has taken a fresh look at the issue of such mutual consent provisions, and it has concluded that such provisions would not be enforceable because a future Congress could choose to alter that relationship unilaterally (Congress similarly could elect to enact legislation violating a treaty with a foreign country or to legislate over the opposition of one or more States )

En síntesis, EL ELA ES UNA MENTIRA y no se puede mejorar. Lo que hay es estadidad o independencia. Y por si acaso, el antes mencionado informe de Casa Blanca dice a la página 25 lo siguiente:

Free Association is a type of independence A compact of Free Association would establish a mutual agreement that would recognize that the United States and Puerto Rico are closely linked in specific ways as detailed in the compact Compacts of this sort are based on the national sovereignty of each country, and either nation can unilaterally terminate the association.

Así que no se dejen confundir, la libre asociación, república asociada o como quieran llamar a la “soberanía” no es más que la independencia con un tratado con USA que cada parte puede terminar unilateralmente.

PS: El PNP que se ponga a educar al Pueblo sobre las MENTIRAS del ELA. Yo se que la campaña para la Gobernación es importante pero este documento lo debe hacer la Comisión Estadista, no este servidor.