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“No matter whether the Constitution follows the flag or not, the Supreme Court follows the election returns.” Mr. Dooley, 1901 (Finley Peter Dunne)

What is this blog about?

At the end of the Spanish-American War, the United States took possession of several islands in the Carribean and Western Pacific, known as the Insular territories.  One question that immediately arose was whether the U.S. Constitution applied everywhere the United States was sovereign - whether it "followed the flag."

Despite more than a century passing, the implications of this question have still not been fully explored and in fact, have only gotten more complex, as we ask if the Constitution applies to anyone outside U.S. borders.  This blog aims to examine the critical questions surrounding the extraterritorial application of U.S. law and what limits, if any, the Constitution places on such application.  To that end, the blog will cover developments in the law by examining and commenting on cases and scholarship that examine these questions.

Who are you?

My name is Alan Mygatt-Tauber and I'm a lawyer in Washington State.  I have studied questions of the application of the extraterritorial application of the Constitution and U.S. law for over 15 years.  I have published law review articles examining the application of the Bill of Rights to U.S. Territories as well as the constitutional rights of detainees held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the official views of any other person, entity, or state or federal government agency.