Pedro Pierluisi sworn in as governor of Puerto Rico

Pedro Pierluisi sworn in as governor of Puerto Rico
© Getty

Former resident commissioner Pedro PierluisiPedro Rafael PierluisiTrump reignites Puerto Rico feud amid Hurricane Dorian The Hill's Morning Report - Trump vows federal response to Ohio, Texas shootings Wanda Vázquez sworn in as new Puerto Rico governor MORE was sworn in as the new governor of Puerto Rico on Friday following days of political infighting that threatened to sideline him as outgoing Gov. Ricardo Rosselló's chosen successor.

Rosselló, who resigned his commission amid protests and scandals, named Pierluisi acting secretary of state earlier this week.

Pierluisi was confirmed by the territory's House of Representatives, but faced opposition from Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz, who on Thursday brought down a motion to vote on Pierluisi's nomination.

ADVERTISEMENT

Following the House's confirmation, Rivera Schatz announced that the Senate would vote on Pierluisi's nomination on Wednesday.

Rosselló had called a special session of the legislature to vote on the nomination, but ultimately used a recess appointment statute known as Law 7 to override the Senate's filibuster.

Julio Fontanet, a Puerto Rican constitutionalist, told El Nuevo Día newspaper that Rosselló's application of Law 7 was "an irresponsible act."

Fontanet said Pierluisi's governorship will ultimately be decided in the courts.

"I don't think this will go beyond next Friday," he said.

According to the Puerto Rican constitution, the secretary of state is first in line to succeed the governor, followed by the justice secretary.

Former Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marín resigned because of the same texting scandal that brought down Rosselló, leaving Wanda Vázquez next in the line of succession.

Vázquez earlier this week tweeted that she had "no interest" in taking over as governor. Rosselló then appointed Pierluisi as acting secretary of state, pending confirmation.

Rivera Schatz, seen by many as having his own gubernatorial aspirations, delivered a scathing speech on the Senate floor Thursday panning Pierluisi for his connections to the territory's fiscal control board.

Pierluisi, who represented Puerto Rico as resident commissioner from 2009 to 2017, had retired from politics and taken a job at a law firm that represents the board.

His retirement from politics came after he lost the 2016 gubernatorial primary against Rosselló, then a political newcomer whose main claim to fame was that his father was once governor of Puerto Rico.