Constitution of American Samoa
The original Constitution was adopted by a constitutional convention and was signed by the 68 members of the convention and Interior Secretary Fred Andrew Seaton on 27 April 1960 and became effective 17 October 1960. A Constitutional Convention of American Samoa in Fagatogo begun on 26 September 1966 and approved several amendments, which were approved in a referendum in the general elections in 1966, promulgated by Interior Secretary Stewart Udall on 2 June 1967, and became effective 1 July 1967.
To prevent the Secretary of the Interior from appointing an Attorney General independent of the elected Governor, Congress passed a law in 1983 mandating that amendments to the Constitution be made by Congress alone.
Given that the Secretary of the Interior technically holds all power, his position has been called that of a "benevolent dictator", and the Constitution as a "giant deceit".
The Ratification Act of 1929 was joint resolution of the United States Congress that ratified the Treaty of Cession of Tutuila of 1900 and the Treaty of Cession of Manuʻa of 1904, which ceded the islands of Tutuila and Manuʻa, respectively, to the United States and now form part of American Samoa. As such it is one of the basic Constitutional documents of American Samoa.
- Leibowitz 1980, p. 254.
- Leibowitz 1989, p. 420.
- Leibowitz 1980, pp. 254-255.
- Leibowitz 1989, p. 423.
- Pub.L. 98–213, 97 Stat. 1459, enacted December 8, 1983, § 12 at 97 Stat. 1462, codified at 48 U.S.C. § 1662a
- U.S. Government Accountability Office (September 18, 2008). American Samoa: Issues Associated with Some Federal Court Options (Report). U.S. Government Accountability Office. http://www.gao.gov/assets/130/121189.pdf.
- Leibowitz, Arnold H (1980). "American Samoa: Decline of a Culture". California Western International Law Journal 10: 220–271.
- Leibowitz, Arnold H (1989). Defining Status: A Comprehensive Analysis of United States Territorial Relations. ISBN 978-0-7923-0069-4. "His legal position would not only permit him to investigate and overturn decisions of the judiciary in American Samoa, but the decisions of the Executive and Legislative branches as well. … The very fact that his office exists as an ombudsman, to put it kindly, or as a benevolent dictator — to put it less generously — depreciates all Samoan government institutions and makes the Samoan Constitution adopted in 1960 a giant deceit."