Foraker Act Law and Legal Definition

The Foraker Act is the U.S. federal law which established the governing structure for the island of Puerto Rico. According to the Act an American-appointed governor was to be the executive officer of the island. S/he is advised by an executive council appointed by the U.S. President, a house of representatives, a judicial system with a supreme court and a U.S. district court, and a non-voting resident commissioner in Congress.

The purpose of the Foraker Act is to give Puerto Rico full power of local self-determination, with autonomy similar to that of states and incorporated territories. [Puerto Rico v. Shell Co., 302 U.S. 253, 260 (U.S. 1937)].