September 24, 2020

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm, Eastern Time

What Next? Decolonizing Puerto Rico

Join the ACS Buffalo SUNY law student chapter and the Latin American Law Student Association, for a discussion on Puerto Rico, Statehood, and the current status of issues surrounding this topic today.

This event will feature, Dr. Christina D. Ponsa-Kraus and Dr. Jorge Manuel Farinacci Fernós, who will widen the discussion to ask the critical question - what do Puerto Ricans want? 

This event will aim to educate us all on how the issue of statehood is debated in Puerto Rico, and the process and substance of government efforts, from both the US and Puerto Rico, in the last three years. 

The panelist discussion will run from 6:00 - 7:00 PM, and will be followed by a 30-minute Q&A. 

To RSVP please click here

Christina D. Ponsa-Kraus, is the George Welwood Murray Professor of Legal History at Columbia Law School. She writes about the constitutional history of American territorial expansion and the extraterritorial application of the U.S. Constitution, examining their implications for American federalism, citizenship, and nationhood. Ponsa-Kraus is especially interested in the legal issues surrounding the political status of Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories (the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa). She is the co-editor of Foreign in a Domestic Sense: Puerto Rico, American Expansion, and the Constitution (2001) and is currently working on a study of recent legal developments affecting the status of the U.S. territories. Before joining the Law School, Ponsa-Kraus clerked for Judge José A. Cabranes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit and for Justice Stephen G. Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jorge Manuel Farinacci Fernós, is currently a tenure-track Associate Professor of Law at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico Law School, where he teaches Legal History, Administrative Law, Constitutional Hermeneutics and Legal Writing. He received his J.D. (magna cum laude) from the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Law School, where he was awarded the Prizes for Highest Overall GPA and Highest GPA in the area of Public Law. He was also Associate Director of the UPR Law Review. After his JD, he worked as a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico for then-Associate Justice Liana Fiol Matta.

He obtained his LL.M. from Harvard Law School and he then his S.J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. His doctorate Dissertation focused on the role of intent and history in the interpretation of modern, post-liberal and teleological constitutions. He has published Articles in the Southwestern Law Review, Hastings International and Comparative Law Review, Tulsa Law Review, Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy, Montana Law Review, Barry Law Review, Western New England Law Review, among others, mostly about constitutional law and labor & employment law issues. In 2020, he became the first recipient of the American Association of Law School’s “Mark Tushnet” Prize in Comparative Law for his Article “Post-Liberal Constitutionalism” and also received the Puerto Rican Bar Association’s “Best Legal Work” Prize for his recent book “Hermenéutica Puertorriqueña: Cánones de Interpretación Jurídica”, which focuses on the interpretation of legal texts. His most recent book, a detailed, first-impression analysis of the Puerto Rican Bill of Rights, will be published in a few months.

During his studies at the UPR, he was active in the student movement, including two terms as the President of the General Student Council at the UPR’s main campus in Rio Piedras and as the elected student representative in the UPR Board of Trustees. In 2016, he was a candidate for the San Juan City Council on the Working People’s Party ticket, and is currently active in the labor movement and different forums of public debate, mostly focusing on labor and constitutional rights.