As the U.S. Senate considers legislation to put the question of citizenship up for a vote in American Samoa, attorneys Charles V. Ala'ilima and Neil Weare highlighted the significant constitutional concerns it raises in light of the ongoing federal case Tuaua v United States.
Section 19 of S. 1237, the American Samoa Citizenship Plebiscite Act, raises significant constitutional concerns because it asks the wrong question. Whether American Samoa continues to remain a part of the United States is a question that should be answered by the people of American Samoa. Votes in the past have always been to keep American Samoa a part of the United States. So long as it is, the question of citizenship is determined by the U.S. Constitution.
The testimony submitted by Ala'ilima and Weare can be viewed here.
More after the hearing.