The Insular Cases: Downes v. Bidwell


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Downes v. Bidwell is one of a handful of U.S. Supreme Court cases that together make up what are called the Insular Cases. Decided in the first several years of the twentieth century, these cases determined that full constitutional rights were not necessarily granted to people living in American territories. In one of the most important of the Insular Cases, Downes v. Bidwell, the Supreme Court established that the United States was not just a nation of states and temporary territories; it...