An hour before Rosselló was set to officially resign, Puerto Rico's House of Representatives confirmed Pierluisi's nomination as secretary of state after a lengthy hearing Friday.
Some lawmakers consider the House confirmation to be enough for Pierluisi to officially become the secretary of state, therefore taking over as governor as soon as Rosselló's exit became official.
Others insist that Pierluisi needed the approval of both the House and the Senate in order to become a legitimate secretary of state who could be sworn in as Puerto Rico's governor.
Rep. Jenniffer González, Puerto Rico's nonvoting member of Congress, is one of them.
González is one of the authors of the law that determines who becomes Puerto Rico's governor if both positions, governor and secretary of state, are vacant at the same time.
The law she helped write in 2005 says that "a Secretary of State must occupy his position in property" in order to step up as the governor, suggesting that Pierluisi should have been confirmed by both the House and the Senate.
Minutes after he officially stepped down, Rosselló said in a press release that Pierluisi was his rightful successor because the law of succession incorporated a recommendation made by the island's Department of Justice which "states that it will not be necessary for the Secretary of State to have been confirmed to assume governance permanently" because "the constitutional text does not require confirmation and that, in case of emergency, such requirement should not be required."
"The constitution is the document before which our rulers, legislators and judges are sworn in. It is imperative that we cling to it to preserve it; ignorance of the power of the Constitution is an act that causes great concern, particularly in these historic moments in which we live in Puerto Rico," the ACLU said in a statement.
"The swearing-in of Pedro Pierluisi as governor of Puerto Rico has been a confusing process, in which he had not even been confirmed as Secretary of State," Movimiento Independentista Nacional Hostosiano said in a statement.
"This situation validates our position that it is necessary to convene a constituent assembly that has deep citizen participation," the group's co-president, Wilma Reverón Collazo, said in a statement.