US Supreme Court rules against Puerto Rico journalists seeking documents from financial oversight board

"The US Supreme Court on Thursday [May 11] ruled against a group of Puerto Rico journalists who were seeking documents from the island’s financial oversight board, saying that the board is protected from such information requests by sovereign immunity.

The case, ‘Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico v. Centro de Periodismo Investigativo,’ asked the court to determine whether the board is protected by the Puerto Rican government’s sovereign immunity. Writing for the majority, Justice Elena Kagan said that the board is part of the government of Puerto Rico. To limit that sovereign immunity, Congress would need to use ‘unmistakable language,’ which is not present in the act that created the board, PROMESA. Because this kind of clear language limiting immunity is not present, the board enjoys the protections of sovereign immunity and is not obligated to provide records to the press.

Lourdes M. Rosado, president of the civil rights group LatinoJustice PRLDEF, condemned the ruling, saying in a statement that the decision ‘allows this anti-democratic body to continue to withhold vital information on their decisions and actions affecting Puerto Rico’s economy and the lives of millions of people.’"

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