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Today in legal history...

Sunday, July 03, 2011

American Samoa approved constitutional amendments
Clay Flaherty at 12:00 AM ET

On July 3, 2010, the US territory of American Samoa concluded a constitutional convention that approved several amendments to the territory's 1967 constitution. The amendments removed much of the authority of the US Department of the Interior (DOI) in the country and shifted that power to local officials. Some of the specific changes approved by the convention included removing the DOI's ability to override vetoes of the American Samoan governor and removing the DOI's ability to reject amendments to the territory's constitution. American Samoa has been a US territory since 1900. The nearly 70,000 residents of the territory are US nationals—a status which is not considered commensurate with citizenship and exempts the residents from most federal laws and portions of the US Constitution.

American Samoan flag

Learn more about the laws governing US territories from the JURIST news archive.

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