Given reporter Julia Longoria’s long love affair with the Supreme Court, it’s no surprise she’s become the new host of More Perfect (, a show all about how the Supreme Court got to be so… supreme. This week, we talk to Julia about her journey to the host seat, and we highlight an episode she produced for Radiolab in 2019 about a specific case: González v. Williams. 

In 1903 the U.S. Supreme Court refused to say that Isabel González was a citizen of the United States. Then again, they said, she wasn’t exactly an immigrant either. And they said that the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, Isabel’s home, was “foreign to the United States in a domestic sense.” Since then, the U.S. has cleared up at least some of the confusion about U.S. territories and the status of people born in them.

But, more than a hundred years later, there is still a U.S. territory that has been left in limbo: American Samoa. It is the only place on Earth that is U.S. soil, but people who are born there are not automatically U.S. citizens. When we visit American Samoa, we discover that there are some pretty surprising reasons why many American Samoans prefer it that way. 


Reported by - Julia Longoria

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