This is my third blog regarding the Supreme Courts decision to hear the case of a resident of Puerto Rico drawing under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. In a disappointing decision by the Supreme Court in the case of United States v. Vaello Madero, the Court held Puerto Rico residents do not have a constitutional right to certain federal benefits.
The only dissenting vote came from Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Justice Sotomayor stated, “There is no rational basis for Congress to treat needy citizens living anywhere in the United States so differently from others. To hold otherwise, as the Court does, is irrational and antithetical to the very nature of the SSI program and the equal protection of citizens guaranteed by the Constitution.” Justice Sotomayor, who is from Puerto Rico, is correct in her argument as the SSI program is in its very nature for those who have not paid into the federal programs adequately to have a Disability Insurance Benefits claim under their own record.