Balzac v. Porto Rico

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Balzac v. People of Porto Rico
by the Supreme Court of the United States
Balzac v. Porto Rico, 258 U.S. 298 (1922), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that certain provisions of the U.S. Constitution did not apply to territories not incorporated into the union. It originated when Jesús M. Balzac was prosecuted for criminal libel in a district court of Puerto Rico. Balzac declared that his rights had been violated under the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as he was denied a trial by jury, since the code of criminal procedure of Puerto Rico did not grant a jury trial in misdemeanor cases. In the appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgments of the lower courts on the island in deciding that the provisions of the Constitution did not apply to a territory that belonged to the United States but was not incorporated into the Union. It has become known as one of the "Insular Cases". — Excerpted from Balzac v. Porto Rico on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Court Documents
Opinion of the Court

United States Supreme Court

258 U.S. 298


 Argued: March 20, 1922. --- Decided: April 10, 1922

Mr. Jackson H. Ralston, of Washington, D. C. for plaintiff in error.

Mr. Grant T. Trent, of Washington, D. C., for the People of Porto Rico.

[Argument of Counsel from page 299 intentionally omitted]

Mr. Chief Justice TAFT delivered the opinion of the Court.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).