Thursday, March 12, 2015
John Oliver on why U.S. territories don’t have full voting rights
Link to article/video
John Oliver and his news team have done their homework on this issue, and he presented it in his "Last Week Tonight" on Sunday.
Oliver explained that the 4 million people that live in American territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Marianas) are Americans, but they can't vote in presidential elections and don't have a voting representative in Congress.
The reason cited for their lack of voting rights is the same reason given from the 1901 court decision, which basically said that the native people of these islands aren't capable of understanding white people's laws, so the Constitution doesn't really apply to them. This ridiculously outdated principle is still cited today.
So do you think restricting their voting rights is fair? What about representation in government? Currently territories are allowed one non-voting member in the house of representatives and no senators. Which issue do you think should be prioritized, if any?