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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, February 6, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesV.I. Does Not Have the Same Rights as States

V.I. Does Not Have the Same Rights as States

Dear Source:
Dear Y. Hanley: Thank you for your response to my article. It is abundantly clear to me that you care deeply about what is printed in any media and I commend you for speaking out on this issue. Yes, I did send an e-mail to Tregenza Roach about the issue at the time I found it. To date, no response. I am also please that two other responders who obviously visited the site, as you did, and agree that something could be done if properly monitored.
I wholeheartedly agree with you that posted information, especially information that reaches a world-wide audience, should be carefully written and scrutinized prior to publication. The fact that I used ".com" instead of ".vi" was an error on my part and was subject to scrutiny. My second article on this subject clarified that, and the link to the site was further evidence that I had made a simple typo.
I was very impressed with your reference to the fact that we can send our children off to war yet not have the same rights as "states" in terms of voting for President. This is certainly a freedom that we all wish we could have but as I am sure you know can never be realized unless a constitutional amendment, similar to The 23rd Amendment which gave Washington DC the right to vote for President and was ratified by the people of the United States in 1961. I am not sure about your contention that a Virgin Islander can never run for President. The constitution, in Article II Section 1 p5 says: No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States. (underline added) Are we "residents within the United States"? The Virgin Islands is a territory of the United States and perhaps you're correct but interpretation may be needed. Personally, I feel that a person who is a citizen of the Virgin Islands could conceivably run for the office of President of the United States. The point is also that most of the Constitution applies in the Virgin Islands with the exception of the presidential vote and in the territorial clauses as can be seen here: The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.
It should be noted that past Supreme Court decisions have determined that the Congress of the United States has the right to make determinations about its "property". In that regard, we are NOT a "state" and thus many parts of the United States Constitution actually do not apply because we are, in fact, subject to the "whims" of Congress.
I do agree that much more could be done by Congress to make the people of the various territories a little less concerned about what the future holds and what our standing is as an integral part of the American system. Having a constitution of our own might help Congress see that we do, in fact, have the ability to self-govern. Maybe then we can think about our status.

Paul Devine
St. John

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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