Tag Archives: Puerto Rico

Average Joe SCOTUS: United States v. Vaello-Madero

You know that shit that comes out of your paycheck every time called Social Security? Well, it’s available to people living in all fifty states, Washington DC, and for some odd reason, the Northern Mariana Islands, which the US owns.

For some reason, they apparently didn’t give a flying fuck about Puerto Rico, because those motherfuckers don’t get a damn thing.

Jose Luis Vaello-Madero, a Puerto Rican dude, found his way to New York back in 1985, and presumably, started paying into Social Security plan. In 2012, he got sick as balls, and couldn’t work anymore. As such, he started receiving his SSI benefits, which again, he would have paid into.

In 2013, he went back to Puerto Rico to help care for his wife, who was also experiencing health problems, while continuing to receive his SSI benefits.

The greedy pricks in our federal government eventually found out he was living in excluded Puerto Rico, and were all like, “Slow your roll, dude. Why are you collecting benefits when you’re living in Puerto Rico? Not cool man, not cool. Also, we found out you moved there years ago. So guess what, you’ve gotta pay all that shit back you received while you were living in Puerto Rico. Capiche?”

Jose, was like, “Wait a fucking minute, I paid into this program, you merry band of cunts. This is my fucking money. Also, have you ever read the fucking fifth amendment that says I deserve equal protection under the law? Well, the whole idea you exclude us Puerto Ricans, who belong to your asshole country, violates that. So I’m suing YOU motherfucker! Also, how the fuck did the Marianas negotiate benefits, but somehow Guam, Puerto Rico, and others were left out? You just hate people who speak Spanish, don’t you?”

Justice Sotomayor, seemed pretty inclined to agree with Jose. She questioned:

Sonia Sotomayor

All right.

So let’s look at the plus of that.

This program is fully funded by the federal government, fully administered by the federal government.

There’s no cost to Puerto Rico.

There’s no cost to any state.

And so I don’t understand what the different relationship with Puerto Rico has to do with this program because there’s no cost to the government. It’s not as if it could take this federal money, Puerto Rico, and distribute it in some other way or put this money to use in some other way because the money’s going directly to the people, not to the government.

So I don’t see how that can be a plus with respect to the self-governance of Puerto Rico.

Call me crazy, but when I look at my paycheck, Social Security is one tax taken from my paycheck, federal taxes are completely separate. So Sotomayor’s question makes zero sense to me, since it WOULD in fact cost the govt, since Puerto Rican’s don’t currently pay into the system. It’s as if she doesn’t understand they’re not currently taxed for that.

But maybe she’s just like, “let the pay in like everyone else, and get their fucking benefits.”

A district court, and the 1st Circuit Appellate court were both like, “Jose, you clever son of a bitch. We think you make a good fucking argument.” But the United states, not quick to let go of money they can potentially steal, we’re like, “Fuck you lower-court clowns, we’ll take this shit all the way to SCOTUS.”

In an 8:1 decision, where only Justice Sotomayor dissented, SCOTUS ruled for the United States, deciding Jose’s argument wasn’t so clever after all. They argued that because Puerto Ricans don’t pay into the system, they have no right to expect benefits down the road.

If a Puerto Rican makes their way to the 50 states, and pay into the system, they can receive benefits back out of it. But as soon as they leave, and go to Puerto Rico, Timbuktu, or bumfuck Egypt, benefits end there.

Sotomayor dissented, calling all her cohorts, and the congressional twats who wrote this rule, some racist assholes.

Hear oral arguments and/or read about the case below.

https://www.oyez.org/cases/2021/20-303