Mutual Consent Provisions in the Guam Commonwealth Legislation: Memorandum Opinion for the Special Representative for Guam Commonwealth [July 28, 1994]   [open pdf - 71KB]

"The Guam Commonwealth Bill, H.R. 1521, 103d Cong., 1st Sess. (1993) contains two sections requiring the mutual consent of the Government of the United States and the Government of Guam. Section 103 provides that the Commonwealth Act could be amended only with mutual consent of the two governments. Section 202 provides that no Federal laws, rules, and regulations passed after the enactment of the Commonwealth Act would apply to Guam without the mutual consent of the two governments. The Representatives of Guam insist that these two sections are crucial for the autonomy and economy of Guam. The former views of this Office on the validity or efficacy of mutual consent requirements included in legislation governing the relationship between the federal government and non-state areas, i.e. areas under the sovereignty of the United States that are not States, have not been consistent. We therefore have carefully reexamined this issue. Our conclusion is that these clauses raise serious constitutional issues and are legally unenforceable."

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