throbber
(Slip Opinion)
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` OCTOBER TERM, 2015
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`Syllabus
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`1
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` NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is
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`
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` being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued.
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` The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been
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` prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader.
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` See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337.
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`SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
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` Syllabus
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` COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO v. SANCHEZ
`
`
`
`
` VALLE ET AL.
`
`
`CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF PUERTO RICO
`No. 15–108. Argued January 13, 2016—Decided June 9, 2016
`
`
`Respondents Luis Sánchez Valle and Jaime Gómez Vázquez each sold a
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`gun to an undercover police officer. Puerto Rican prosecutors indict­
`ed them for illegally selling firearms in violation of the Puerto Rico
`Arms Act of 2000. While those charges were pending, federal grand
`
`juries also indicted them, based on the same transactions, for viola­
`tions of analogous U. S. gun trafficking statutes. Both defendants
`
`
`pleaded guilty to the federal charges and moved to dismiss the pend­
`ing Commonwealth charges on double jeopardy grounds. The trial
`court in each case dismissed the charges, rejecting prosecutors’ ar­
`guments that Puerto Rico and the United States are separate sover­
`eigns for double jeopardy purposes and so could bring successive
`prosecutions against each defendant. The Puerto Rico Court of Ap­
`peals consolidated the cases and reversed. The Supreme Court of
`Puerto Rico granted review and held, in line with the trial court, that
`Puerto Rico’s gun sale prosecutions violated the Double Jeopardy
`
`Clause.
`Held: The Double Jeopardy Clause bars Puerto Rico and the United
`States from successively prosecuting a single person for the same
`
`conduct under equivalent criminal laws. Pp. 5–18.
`
`
`(a) Ordinarily, a person cannot be prosecuted twice for the same of­
`fense. But under the dual-sovereignty doctrine, the Double Jeopardy
`
`Clause does not bar successive prosecutions if they are brought by
`
`
`separate sovereigns. See, e.g., United States v. Lanza, 260 U. S. 377,
`
`382. Yet “sovereignty” in this context does not bear its ordinary
`meaning. This Court does not examine the extent of control that one
`prosecuting entity wields over the other, the degree to which an enti­
`ty exercises self-governance, or a government’s more particular abil­
`ity to enact and enforce its own criminal laws. Rather, the test hinges
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`PUERTO RICO v. SANCHEZ VALLE
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`Syllabus
`on a single criterion: the “ultimate source” of the power undergird-
`
`
`ing the respective prosecutions. United States v. Wheeler, 435 U. S.
`313, 320. If two entities derive their power to punish from independ­
`
`ent sources, then they may bring successive prosecutions. Converse­
`ly, if those entities draw their power from the same ultimate source,
`then they may not.
`
`Under that approach, the States are separate sovereigns from the
`Federal Government and from one another. Because States rely on
`“authority originally belonging to them before admission to the Union
`and preserved to them by the Tenth Amendment,” state prosecutions
`have their roots in an “inherent sovereignty” unconnected to the U. S.
`
`
`
`Congress. Heath v. Alabama, 474 U. S. 82, 89. For similar reasons,
`
`
`
`Indian tribes also count as separate sovereigns. A tribe’s power to
`punish pre-existed the Union, and so a tribal prosecution, like a
`State’s, is “attributable in no way to any delegation . . . of federal au­
`thority.” Wheeler, 435 U. S., at 328. Conversely, a municipality can­
`
`not count as a sovereign distinct from a State, because it receives its
`power, in the first instance, from the State. See, e.g., Waller v. Flori-
`da, 397 U. S. 387, 395. And most pertinent here, this Court conclud­
`
`ed in the early 20th century that U. S. territories—including an ear­
`
`lier incarnation of Puerto Rico itself—are not sovereigns distinct from
`
`the United States. Grafton v. United States, 206 U. S. 333. The
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`Court reasoned that “the territorial and federal laws [were] creations
`
`emanating from the same sovereignty,” Puerto Rico v. Shell Co. (P.
`R.), Ltd., 302 U. S. 253, 264, and so federal and territorial prosecu­
`tors do not derive their powers from independent sources of authori­
`
`ty. Pp. 5–11.
`
`(b) The Grafton and Shell Co. decisions, in and of themselves, do
`not control here. In the mid-20th century, Puerto Rico became a new
`kind of political entity, still closely associated with the United States
`but governed in accordance with, and exercising self-rule through, a
`popularly-ratified constitution. The magnitude of that change re­
`quires consideration of the dual-sovereignty question anew. Yet the
`
`
`result reached, given the historical test applied, ends up the same.
`
`Going back as far as the doctrine demands—to the “ultimate source”
`
`
`of Puerto Rico’s prosecutorial power—reveals, once again, the U. S.
`
`
`Congress. Wheeler, 435 U. S., at 320. Pp. 12–18.
`
`
`(1) In 1950, Congress enacted Public Law 600, which authorized
`the people of Puerto Rico to organize a government pursuant to a
`constitution of their own adoption. The Puerto Rican people capital­
`
`ized on that opportunity, calling a constitutional convention and
`overwhelmingly approving the charter it drafted. Once Congress ap­
`proved that proposal—subject to several important conditions accept­
`ed by the convention—the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a new po­
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`2
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`3
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`Cite as: 579 U. S. ____ (2016)
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`
`Syllabus
`
`litical entity, came into being.
`
`Those constitutional developments were of great significance—and,
`
`indeed, made Puerto Rico “sovereign” in one commonly understood
`
`sense of that term. At that point, Congress granted Puerto Rico a de­
`
`gree of autonomy comparable to that possessed by the States. If the
`dual-sovereignty doctrine hinged on measuring an entity’s self-
`governance, the emergence of the Commonwealth would have result­
`ed as well in the capacity to bring the kind of successive prosecutions
`attempted here. Pp. 13–14.
`
`
`(2) But the dual-sovereignty test focuses not on the fact of self-
`
`rule, but on where it first came from. And in identifying a prosecut­
`ing entity’s wellspring of authority, the Court has insisted on going
`all the way back—beyond the immediate, or even an intermediate, lo­
`cus of power to what is termed the “ultimate source.” On this settled
`approach, Puerto Rico cannot benefit from the dual-sovereignty doc­
`trine. True enough, that the Commonwealth’s power to enact and en­
`force criminal law now proceeds, just as petitioner says, from the
`
`Puerto Rico Constitution as “ordain[ed] and establish[ed]” by “the
`people.” P. R. Const., Preamble. But back of the Puerto Rican people
`and their Constitution, the “ultimate” source of prosecutorial power
`remains the U. S. Congress. Congress, in Public Law 600, authorized
`
`Puerto Rico’s constitution-making process in the first instance, and
`Congress, in later legislation, both amended the draft charter and
`gave it the indispensable stamp of approval. Put simply, Congress
`conferred the authority to create the Puerto Rico Constitution, which
`in turn confers the authority to bring criminal charges. That makes
`Congress the original source of power for Puerto Rico’s prosecutors—
`as it is for the Federal Government’s. The island’s Constitution, sig­
`nificant though it is, does not break the chain. Pp. 14–18.
`Affirmed.
`KAGAN, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS,
`
`C. J., and KENNEDY, GINSBURG, and ALITO, JJ., joined. GINSBURG, J.,
`filed a concurring opinion, in which THOMAS, J., joined. THOMAS, J.,
`filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.
`BREYER, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which SOTOMAYOR, J., joined.
`
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`

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` Cite as: 579 U. S. ____ (2016)
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`Opinion of the Court
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`1
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` NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the
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` preliminary print of the United States Reports. Readers are requested to
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` notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Wash­
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` ington, D. C. 20543, of any typographical or other formal errors, in order
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` that corrections may be made before the preliminary print goes to press.
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`SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
`
`_________________
`
` No. 15–108
`_________________
` COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO, PETITIONER v.
`
`
` LUIS M. SANCHEZ VALLE, ET AL.
`ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF
`
`
`PUERTO RICO
`
`
`[June 9, 2016]
`
` JUSTICE KAGAN delivered the opinion of the Court.
`
`The Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment
`prohibits more than one prosecution for the “same of­
`fence.” But under what is known as the dual-sovereignty
`
`doctrine, a single act gives rise to distinct offenses—and
`thus may subject a person to successive prosecutions—if it
`violates the laws of separate sovereigns. To determine
`whether two prosecuting authorities are different sover­
`eigns for double jeopardy purposes, this Court asks a
`narrow, historically focused question. The inquiry does
`not turn, as the term “sovereignty” sometimes suggests, on
`the degree to which the second entity is autonomous from
`the first or sets its own political course. Rather, the issue
`is only whether the prosecutorial powers of the two juris­
`dictions have independent origins—or, said conversely,
`whether those powers derive from the same “ultimate
`
`source.” United States v. Wheeler, 435 U. S. 313, 320
`(1978).
`
`In this case, we must decide if, under that test, Puerto
`Rico and the United States may successively prosecute a
`single defendant for the same criminal conduct. We hold
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` PUERTO RICO v. SANCHEZ VALLE
`
`Opinion of the Court
`they may not, because the oldest roots of Puerto Rico’s
`
`power to prosecute lie in federal soil.
`I
`
`A
`
`
`
`Puerto Rico became a territory of the United States in
`1898, as a result of the Spanish-American War. The
`treaty concluding that conflict ceded the island, then a
`Spanish colony, to the United States, and tasked Congress
`with determining “[t]he civil rights and political status” of
`its inhabitants. Treaty of Paris, Art. 9, Dec. 10, 1898, 30
`Stat. 1759. In the ensuing hundred-plus years, the United
`States and Puerto Rico have forged a unique political
`relationship, built on the island’s evolution into a constitu­
`tional democracy exercising local self-rule.
`
`Acting pursuant to the U. S. Constitution’s Territory
`Clause, Congress initially established a “civil government”
`for Puerto Rico possessing significant authority over in­
`ternal affairs. Organic Act of 1900, ch. 191, 31 Stat. 77;
`see U. S. Const., Art. IV, §3, cl. 2 (granting Congress the
`“Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regu­
`lations respecting the Territory or other Property belong­
`ing to the United States”). The U. S. President, with the
`advice and consent of the Senate, appointed the governor,
`supreme court, and upper house of the legislature; the
`
`Puerto Rican people elected the lower house themselves.
`See §§17–35, 31 Stat. 81–85. Federal statutes generally
`applied (as they still do) in Puerto Rico, but the newly
`constituted legislature could enact local laws in much the
`same way as the then-45 States. See §§14–15, 32, id., at
`80, 83–84; Puerto Rico v. Shell Co. (P. R.), Ltd., 302 U. S.
`253, 261 (1937).
`
`Over time, Congress granted Puerto Rico additional
`autonomy. A federal statute passed in 1917, in addition to
`
`giving the island’s inhabitants U. S. citizenship, replaced
`the upper house of the legislature with a popularly elected
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`2
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` Cite as: 579 U. S. ____ (2016)
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`Opinion of the Court
`senate. See Organic Act of Puerto Rico, ch. 145, §§5, 26,
`39 Stat. 953, 958. And in 1947, an amendment to that law
`empowered the Puerto Rican people to elect their own
`governor, a right never before accorded in a U. S. territory.
`See Act of Aug. 5, 1947, ch. 490, §1, 61 Stat. 770.
`
`Three years later, Congress enabled Puerto Rico to
`
`embark on the project of constitutional self-governance.
`Public Law 600, “recognizing the principle of government
`
`by consent,” authorized the island’s people to “organize a
`government pursuant to a constitution of their own adop­
`
`tion.” Act of July 3, 1950, §1, 64 Stat. 319. Describing
`itself as “in the nature of a compact,” the statute submit­
`ted its own terms to an up-or-down referendum of Puerto
`Rico’s voters. Ibid. According to those terms, the eventual
`constitution had to “provide a republican form of govern­
`ment” and “include a bill of rights”; all else would be
`
`hashed out in a constitutional convention. §2, 64 Stat.
`319. The people of Puerto Rico would be the first to de­
`cide, in still another referendum, whether to adopt that
`convention’s proposed charter. See §3, 64 Stat. 319. But
`
`Congress would cast the dispositive vote: The constitution,
`Public Law 600 declared, would become effective only
`
`“[u]pon approval by the Congress.” Ibid.
`
`Thus began two years of constitution-making for the
`island. The Puerto Rican people first voted to accept
`Public Law 600, thereby triggering a constitutional con­
`vention. And once that body completed its work, the
`island’s voters ratified the draft constitution. Congress
`then took its turn on the document: Before giving its
`approval, Congress removed a provision recognizing vari­
`ous social welfare rights (including entitlements to food,
`
`housing, medical care, and employment); added a sentence
`prohibiting certain constitutional amendments, including
`any that would restore the welfare-rights section; and
`inserted language guaranteeing children’s freedom to
`attend private schools. See Act of July 3, 1952, 66 Stat.
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` PUERTO RICO v. SANCHEZ VALLE
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`Opinion of the Court
`327; Draft Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto
`Rico (1952), in Documents on the Constitutional Relation­
`ship of Puerto Rico and the United States 199 (M. Ramirez
`Lavandero ed., 3d ed. 1988). Finally, the constitution
`became law, in the manner Congress had specified, when
`the convention formally accepted those conditions and the
`governor “issue[d] a proclamation to that effect.” Ch. 567,
`66 Stat. 328.
`The Puerto Rico Constitution created a new political
`
`entity, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico—or, in Spanish,
`Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico. See P. R. Const.,
`Art. I, §1. Like the U. S. Constitution, it divides political
`
`power into three branches—the “legislative, judicial and
`executive.” Art. I, §2. And again resonant of American
`founding principles, the Puerto Rico Constitution de­
`scribes that tripartite government as “republican in form”
`and “subordinate to the sovereignty of the people of Puerto
`Rico.” Ibid. The Commonwealth’s power, the Constitution
`
`proclaims, “emanates from the people and shall be exer­
`cised in accordance with their will, within the terms of the
`compact agreed upon between the people of Puerto Rico
`and the United States.” Art. I, §1.
`B
`We now leave the lofty sphere of constitutionalism for
`
`the grittier precincts of criminal law. Respondents Luis
`Sánchez Valle and Jaime Gómez Vázquez (on separate
`occasions) each sold a gun to an undercover police officer.
`Commonwealth prosecutors indicted them for, among
`other things, selling a firearm without a permit in viola­
`tion of the Puerto Rico Arms Act of 2000. See 25 Laws
`P. R. Ann. §458 (2008). While those charges were pend­
`ing, federal grand juries indicted Sánchez Valle and
`Gómez Vázquez, based on the same transactions, for
`violations of analogous U. S. gun trafficking statutes. See
`18 U. S. C. §§922(a)(1)(A), 923(a), 924(a)(1)(D), 924(a)(2).
`
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` Cite as: 579 U. S. ____ (2016)
`
`Opinion of the Court
`Both defendants pleaded guilty to those federal charges.
`
`Following their pleas, Sánchez Valle and Gómez
`Vázquez moved to dismiss the pending Commonwealth
`
`charges on double jeopardy grounds. The prosecutors in
`both cases opposed those motions, arguing that Puerto
`Rico and the United States are different sovereigns for
`double jeopardy purposes, and so could bring successive
`prosecutions against each of the two defendants. The trial
`courts rejected that view and dismissed the charges. See
`App. to Pet. for Cert. 307a–352a. But the Puerto Rico
`Court of Appeals, after consolidating the two cases, re­
`versed those decisions. See id., at 243a–306a.
`
`
`The Supreme Court of Puerto Rico granted review and
`held that Puerto Rico’s gun sale prosecutions violated the
`
`Double Jeopardy Clause. See id., at 1a–70a. The majority
`reasoned that, under this Court’s dual-sovereignty doc­
`trine, “what is crucial” is “[t]he ultimate source” of Puerto
`
`Rico’s power to prosecute. Id., at 19a; see id., at 20a (“The
`use of the word ‘sovereignty’ in other contexts and for
`other purposes is irrelevant”). Because that power origi­
`nally “derived from the United States Congress”—i.e., the
`same source on which federal prosecutors rely—the Com­
`monwealth could not retry Sánchez Valle and Gómez
`Vázquez for unlawfully selling firearms. Id., at 66a.
`Three justices disagreed, believing that the Common­
`wealth and the United States are separate sovereigns.
`See id., at 71a–242a.
`
`We granted certiorari, 576 U. S. ___ (2015), to determine
`whether the Double Jeopardy Clause bars the Federal
`Government and Puerto Rico from successively prosecut­
`ing a defendant on like charges for the same conduct. We
`hold that it does, and so affirm.
`
`II
`A
`
`This case involves the dual-sovereignty carve-out from
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`5
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`PUERTO RICO v. SANCHEZ VALLE
`
`Opinion of the Court
`the Double Jeopardy Clause. The ordinary rule under
`that Clause is that a person cannot be prosecuted twice for
`the same offense. See U. S. Const., Amdt. 5 (“nor shall
`any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put
`in jeopardy of life or limb”).1 But two prosecutions, this
`Court has long held, are not for the same offense if
`brought by different sovereigns—even when those actions
`target the identical criminal conduct through equivalent
`criminal laws. See, e.g., United States v. Lanza, 260 U. S.
`
`
`
`
`377, 382 (1922). As we have put the point: “[W]hen the
`same act transgresses the laws of two sovereigns, it cannot
`be truly averred that the offender has been twice punished
`for the same offence; but only that by one act he has com­
`mitted two offences.” Heath v. Alabama, 474 U. S. 82, 88
`(1985) (internal quotation marks omitted). The Double
`Jeopardy Clause thus drops out of the picture when the
`“entities that seek successively to prosecute a defendant
`for the same course of conduct [are] separate sovereigns.”
`
`Ibid.
`Truth be told, however, “sovereignty” in this context
`
`does not bear its ordinary meaning. For whatever reason,
`the test we have devised to decide whether two govern­
`ments are distinct for double jeopardy purposes overtly
`disregards common indicia of sovereignty. Under that
`standard, we do not examine the “extent of control” that
`“one prosecuting authority [wields] over the other.”
`Wheeler, 435 U. S., at 320. The degree to which an entity
`
`exercises self-governance—whether autonomously manag­
`ing its own affairs or continually submitting to outside
`direction—plays no role in the analysis. See Shell Co., 302
`
`U. S., at 261–262, 264–266. Nor do we care about a gov­
`——————
`
` 1Because the parties in this case agree that the Double Jeopardy
` Clause applies to Puerto Rico, we have no occasion to consider that
`
`question here. See Brief for Petitioner 19–21; Brief for Respondents
`
` 20, n. 4; see also Brief for United States as Amicus Curiae 10, n. 1
`(concurring).
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`Cite as: 579 U. S. ____ (2016)
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`Opinion of the Court
`ernment’s more particular ability to enact and enforce its
`
`own criminal laws. See Waller v. Florida, 397 U. S. 387,
`391–395 (1970). In short, the inquiry (despite its label)
`does not probe whether a government possesses the usual
`
`
`attributes, or acts in the common manner, of a sovereign
`
`entity.2
`Rather, as Puerto Rico itself acknowledges, our test
`
`hinges on a single criterion: the “ultimate source” of the
`power undergirding the respective prosecutions. Wheeler,
`435 U. S., at 320; see Brief for Petitioner 26. Whether two
`
`prosecuting entities are dual sovereigns in the double
`jeopardy context, we have stated, depends on “whether
`[they] draw their authority to punish the offender from
`distinct sources of power.” Heath, 474 U. S., at 88. The
`inquiry is thus historical, not functional—looking at the
`deepest wellsprings, not the current exercise, of prosecuto­
`rial authority. If two entities derive their power to punish
`from wholly independent sources (imagine here a pair of
`parallel lines), then they may bring successive prosecu­
`tions. Conversely, if those entities draw their power from
`the same ultimate source (imagine now two lines emerging
`from a common point, even if later diverging), then they
`
`——————
`2The dissent, ignoring our longstanding precedent to the contrary,
`
`see supra, at 6–7; infra, at 7–11, advances an approach of just this
`stripe: Its seven considerations all go to the question whether the
`
`Commonwealth, by virtue of Public Law 600, gained “the sovereign
`authority to enact and enforce” its own criminal laws. Post, at 5 (opin­
`ion of BREYER, J.). Our disagreement with the dissent arises entirely
`from its use of this test. If the question is whether, after the events of
`1950–1952, Puerto Rico had authority to enact and enforce its own
`criminal laws (or, slightly differently phrased, whether Congress then
`
`decided that it should have such autonomy), the answer (all can and do
`agree) is yes. See infra, at 13–17. But as we now show, that is not the
`inquiry our double jeopardy law has made relevant: To the contrary, we
`have rejected that approach again and again—and so reached results
`inconsistent with its use. See, e.g., Heath v. Alabama, 474 U. S. 82, 88–
`
`
`91 (1985); Waller v. Florida, 397 U. S. 387, 391–395 (1970); see infra, at
`
`7–11.
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`7
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`8
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`PUERTO RICO v. SANCHEZ VALLE
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`Opinion of the Court
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` may not.3
`
`Under that approach, the States are separate sovereigns
`
`from the Federal Government (and from one another). See
`Abbate v. United States, 359 U. S. 187, 195 (1959); Bartkus
`v. Illinois, 359 U. S. 121, 132–137 (1959); Heath, 474 U. S.,
`at 88. The States’ “powers to undertake criminal prosecu­
`tions,” we have explained, do not “derive[] . . . from the
`Federal Government.” Id., at 89. Instead, the States rely
`
`on “authority originally belonging to them before admis­
`sion to the Union and preserved to them by the Tenth
`Amendment.”
`Ibid.; see U. S. Const., Amdt. 10 (“The
`powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitu­
`
`tion . . . are reserved to the States”); Blatchford v. Native
`Village of Noatak, 501 U. S. 775, 779 (1991) (noting that
`the States “entered the [Union] with their sovereignty
`intact”). Said otherwise: Prior to forming the Union, the
`States possessed “separate and independent sources of
`power and authority,” which they continue to draw upon
`in enacting and enforcing criminal laws. Heath, 474 U. S.,
`at 89. State prosecutions therefore have their most an­
`cient roots in an “inherent sovereignty” unconnected to,
`
`and indeed pre-existing, the U. S. Congress. Ibid.4
`——————
`3The Court has never explained its reasons for adopting this histori­
`cal approach to the dual-sovereignty doctrine. It may appear counter­
`
`
`intuitive, even legalistic, as compared to an inquiry focused on a gov­
`
`ernmental entity’s functional autonomy. But that alternative would
`raise serious problems of application. It would require deciding exactly
`how much autonomy is sufficient for separate sovereignty and whether
`
`a given entity’s exercise of self-rule exceeds that level. The results, we
`suspect, would often be uncertain, introducing error and inconsistency
`into our double jeopardy law. By contrast, as we go on to show, the
`Court has easily applied the “ultimate source” test to classify broad
`classes of governments as either sovereign or not for purposes of bar­
`
`ring retrials. See infra, at 8–11.
`4Literalists might object that only the original 13 States can claim
`such an independent source of authority; for the other 37, Congress
`played some role in establishing them as territories, authorizing or
`
`approving their constitutions, or (at the least) admitting them to the
`
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`

`
`
`Cite as: 579 U. S. ____ (2016)
`
`Opinion of the Court
`For similar reasons, Indian tribes also count as separate
`
`
`sovereigns under the Double Jeopardy Clause. Originally,
`this Court has noted, “the tribes were self-governing sov­
`ereign political communities,” possessing (among other
`capacities) the “inherent power to prescribe laws for their
`
`members and to punish infractions of those laws.”
`
`Wheeler, 435 U. S., at 322–323. After the formation of the
`United States, the tribes became “domestic dependent
`nations,” subject to plenary control by Congress—so hardly
`
`“sovereign” in one common sense. United States v.
`
`Lara, 541 U. S. 193, 204 (2004) (quoting Cherokee Nation
`v. Georgia, 5 Pet. 1, 17 (1831)); see Santa Clara Pueblo v.
`Martinez, 436 U. S. 49, 56 (1978) (“Congress has plenary
`
`9
`
`
`
`
`
`——————
`Union. See U. S. Const., Art. IV, §3, cl. 1 (“New States may be admit­
`
`ted by the Congress into this Union”). And indeed, that is the tack the
`dissent takes.
` See post, at 3–4 (claiming that for this reason the
`
`Federal Government is “the ‘source’ of [later-admitted] States’ legisla­
`tive powers”). But this Court long ago made clear that a new State,
`upon entry, necessarily becomes vested with all the legal characteris­
`tics and capabilities of the first 13. See Coyle v. Smith, 221 U. S. 559,
`
`
`566 (1911) (noting that the very meaning of “ ‘a State’ is found in the
`
`powers possessed by the original States which adopted the Constitu­
`tion”). That principle of “equal footing,” we have held, is essential to
`
`ensure that the nation remains “a union of States[ alike] in power,
`dignity and authority, each competent to exert that residuum of sover­
`
`eignty not delegated to the United States.” Id., at 567; see Northwest
`
`
`Austin Municipal Util. Dist. No. One v. Holder, 557 U. S. 193, 203
`(2009) (referring to the “fundamental principle of equal sovereignty”
`among the States). Thus, each later-admitted State exercises its
`authority to enact and enforce criminal laws by virtue not of congres­
`sional grace, but of the independent powers that its earliest counter­
`parts both brought to the Union and chose to maintain. See Coyle, 221
`
`U. S., at 573 (“[W]hen a new State is admitted into the Union, it is so
`admitted with all the powers of sovereignty and jurisdiction which
`pertain to the original States”). The dissent’s contrary view—that, say,
`Texas’s or California’s powers (including the power to make and enforce
`criminal law) derive from the Federal Government—contradicts the
`most fundamental conceptual premises of our constitutional order,
`
`indeed the very bedrock of our Union.
`
`
`
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`

`
`
`
` PUERTO RICO v. SANCHEZ VALLE
`
`Opinion of the Court
`authority to limit, modify or eliminate the [tribes’] powers
`
`of local self-government”). But unless and until Congress
`withdraws a tribal power—including the power to prose­
`cute—the Indian community retains that authority in its
`earliest form. See Wheeler, 435 U. S., at 323. The “ulti­
`
`mate source” of a tribe’s “power to punish tribal offenders”
`
`thus lies in its “primeval” or, at any rate, “pre-existing”
`sovereignty: A tribal prosecution, like a State’s, is “at­
`tributable in no way to any delegation . . . of federal au­
`thority.” Id., at 320, 322, 328; Santa Clara Pueblo, 436
`
`U. S., at 56. And that alone is what matters for the double
`jeopardy inquiry.
`
`Conversely, this Court has held that a municipality
`cannot qualify as a sovereign distinct from a State—no
`matter how much autonomy over criminal punishment the
`city maintains. See Waller, 397 U. S., at 395. Florida law,
`we recognized in our pivotal case on the subject, treated a
`municipality as a “separate sovereign entit[y]” for all
`relevant real-world purposes: The city possessed broad
`home-rule authority, including the power to enact criminal
`ordinances and prosecute offenses. Id., at 391. But that
`functional control was not enough to escape the double
`jeopardy bar; indeed, it was wholly beside the point. The
`crucial legal inquiry was backward-looking: Did the city
`and State ultimately “derive their powers to prosecute
`from independent sources of authority”? Heath, 474 U. S.,
`at 90 (describing Waller’s reasoning). Because the munic­
`ipality, in the first instance, had received its power from
`the State, those two entities could not bring successive
`
`prosecutions for a like offense.
`
`And most pertinent here, this Court concluded in the
`early decades of the last century that U. S. territories—
`including an earlier incarnation of Puerto Rico itself—are
`not sovereigns distinct from the United States. In Grafton
`v. United States, 206 U. S. 333, 355 (1907), we held that
`the Philippine Islands (then a U. S. territory, also ac­
`
`10
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`
`

`
`
`11
`
`
`Cite as: 579 U. S. ____ (2016)
`
`Opinion of the Court
`quired in the Spanish-American War) could not prosecute
`a defendant for murder after a federal tribunal had ac­
`quitted him of the same crime. We reasoned that whereas
`“a State does not derive its powers from the United
`States,” a territory does: The Philippine courts “exert[ed]
`
`all their powers by authority of ” the Federal Government.
`
`Id., at 354. And then, in Shell Co., we stated that “[t]he
`situation [in Puerto Rico] was, in all essentials, the same.”
`302 U. S., at 265. Commenting on a Puerto Rican statute
`that overlapped with a federal law, we explained that this
`“legislative duplication [gave] rise to no danger of a second
`prosecution” because “the territorial and federal laws
`
`[were] creations emanating from the same sovereignty.”
`
`Id., at 264; see also Heath, 474 U. S., at 90 (noting
`
`that federal and territorial prosecutors “d[o] not derive
`their powers to prosecute from independent sources of
`
`authority”).5
`——————
` 5The dissent’s theory, see supra, at 7, n. 2, cannot explain any of
`
`these (many) decisions, whether involving States, Indian tribes, cities,
`
` or territories. We have already addressed the dissent’s misunderstand­
` ing with respect to the States, including the later-admitted ones. See
`
`
` supra, at 8, and n. 4. This Court’s reasoning could not have been
`plainer: The States (all of them) are separate sovereigns for double
`jeopardy purposes not (as the dissent claims) because they exercise
`authority over criminal law, but instead because that power derives
`from a source independent of the Federal Government. See Heath, 474
`U. S., at 89. So too for the tribes, see supra, at 9–10; and, indeed, here
`the dissent’s contrary reasoning is deeply disturbing. According to the
`dissent, Congress is in fact “the ‘source’ of the Indian tribes’ criminal-
`enforcement power” because it has elected not to disturb the exercise of
`
`
`that authority. Post, at 5. But beginning with Chief Justice Marshall
`
`and continuing for nearly two centuries, this Court has held firm and
`
`
`
`
`fast to the view that Congress’s power over Indian affairs does nothing
`to gainsay the profound importance of the tribes’ pre-existing sover­
`
`eignty. See Worcester v. Georgia, 6 Pet. 515, 559–561 (1832); Talton v.
`
`Mayes, 163 U. S. 376, 384 (1896); Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Com-
`munity, 572 U. S. ___, ___–___ (2014) (slip op., at 4–5). And once again,
`we have stated in no uncertain terms that the tribes are separate
`sovereigns precisely because of that inherent authority. See Wheeler,
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`12
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`
`PUERTO RICO v. SANCHEZ VALLE
`
`Opinion of the Court
`B
`
`With that background established, we turn to the ques­
`tion presented: Do the prosecutorial powers belonging to
`Puerto Rico and the Federal Government derive from
`wholly independent sources? See Brief for Petitioner 26–
`28 (agreeing with that framing of the issue).

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