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Puerto Rico v. Branstad - The Precedent Of Kentucky V. Dennison, The Case Of Ronald Calder, A Different Era

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Puerto Rico


Terry Branstad, Governor of Iowa, et al.

Petitioner's Claim

That the Governor of Iowa was in violation of the Constitution's Extradition Clause for failing to extradite Ronald Calder, a fugitive from justice in Puerto Rico.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Lino J. Saldana

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Brent R. Appel

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall (writing for the Court), Sandra Day O'Connor, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, John Paul Stevens, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

23 June 1987


The Supreme Court unanimously held that the federal courts must have the authority to order a governor to comply with the Constitution's Extradition Clause.


The case allowed federal courts more authority to command compliance from states, overturning the long-held precedent set by Kentucky v. Dennison (1861), a Civil War era states' rights case.

Related Cases

  • Kentucky v. Dennison, 65 U.S. 66 (1861).
  • Ashwander v. Tennessee Valley Authority, 297 U.S. 288 (1936).


U.S. Department of State (http:travel.state.gov.arrest.html)

Further Readings

  • Biskupic, Joan, and Elder Witt, eds. Congressional Quarterly's Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, 3rd ed. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1996.
Pulitzer Divorce Trial: 1982 [next] [back] et al. Posadas de Puerto Rico v. Tourism Company of Puerto Rico - A Two-edged Sword, What Constitutes Commercial Speech?, Initial Ruling And A Constitutional Question?

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