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American Samoa wants to loosen U.S. controls

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Pago Pago, American Samoa » American Samoa convened a constitutional convention yesterday that will consider proposals for removing some U.S. oversight of the territory’s governance.

Several ideas include removing the U.S. interior secretary’s power to override vetoes and to review, overturn or intervene in appeals of decisions by the High Court of American Samoa.

The interior secretary also would lose authority to appoint the chief justice and the associate justice. They would instead be appointed by the territorial governor and confirmed by the Legislature.

A total of 145 delegates from American Samoa were selected to review, debate and approve amendments to the constitution during the convention, the first in the U.S. territory in 26 years.

Proposed constitutional amendments endorsed by the convention would go to a vote in November. If passed, they would then need to be approved by U.S. Congress.


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