Aurelius v. Puerto Rican Control Board (and "What Possibly Could be the Logic Behind Puerto Rico Being in the First Circuit?")

Last Monday, December 3, the First Circuit heard an oral argument that I have been looking forward to for ages.  The case involves an infamously aggressive hedge fund making an audacious challenge to the constitutionality of the Puerto Rican Control Board—an argument that is framed (hilariously, I think) as rescuing the Puerto Rican people from tyranny.  The events that followed did not disappoint in terms of drama.  Though complex to answer, question in the case is easily put: Did the process by which the Puerto Rican Control Board was put in place violate the Appointments Clause of the US constitution?  The lawyering was superb, which was not surprising, given that two legendary former SGs, Ted Olson and Don Verrilli, were at the lectern. But the First Circuit judges were ready and raring to go, and it barely took a minute before they launched into tough questions.  Judge Juan Torruella was especially on target; he knows the intricacies of the…

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