Governor’s Legal Counsel Proposes Legislature Join in Concurrent Review of AG’s “Guam First” Opinion

232

Guam – Governor’s Chief Legal Counsel James Canto Tuesday wrote to Speaker Judi Won Pat proposing a concurrent review of the Attorney General’s recent opinion on the Guam First Commission.

He offered that if both or either of the findings of their reviews are similar to the AG, they work together with the AG to fix any deficiencies of the law.

Read Canto’s Letter to Won Pat

“I have been directed by Governor Calvo to review the Attorney General’s opinion,” Canto wrote to Speaker Won Pat. “As I do so, Governor Calvo is requesting that the Legislature also have its legal counsel conduct a concurrent review. If both or either of our reviews supports a concern about the organicity of P.L. 29-128 similar to the Attorney General’s, the Governor feels we should immediately confer with the Attorney General’s Office to correct any deficiencies in the law so as to allow the Kumision to carry out its intended mandate to the fullest extent permitted by law.”

Canto received the AG’s opinion Friday and has been reviewing it since. Governor Calvo also is reviewing the opinion. Canto explains in his letter to Speaker Won Pat that a similar concern was raised by Supreme Court Chief Justice F. Philip Carbullido in his transmittal of the Judiciary’s nomination to the Guam First Commission. Governor Calvo believes it is critical to hear concerns from all Guam stakeholders about the military buildup and to work collaboratively to move Guam’s agenda forward. The Governor wants to ensure that actions taken are far removed from future legal challenge.

“The significance of the Court’s letter has been amplified by the Attorney General’s opinion,” Canto wrote. “The Attorney General’s opinion and the Court’s letter are cause for great concern to Governor Calvo. Because of the role which the Kumision is tasked to perform in guiding the Guam buildup, an enormous undertaking with serious and long-reaching consequences, Governor Calvo feels it is absolutely necessary that the Kumision’s authority is above reproach, and that we are all assured any action taken by the Kumision will be legally binding and not subject to future legal challenge.”

Meanwhile, Guam Supreme Court Justice Philip Carbullido sent a letter to Governor Calvo appointing Raymong L.G. Taimanglo as the Judiciary’s representative to the Guam First Commission. Taimanglo is the Court’s Procurement & Facilities Management Administrator.

Read Chief Justice’s Letter to Governor Calvo

Canto Proposes Concurrent Review with Legislature

Third branch of government speaks to separation of powers doctrine in separate letter

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 1, 2011

 

Governor’s Chief Legal Counsel James L. Canto II today wrote to Speaker Judith T. Won Pat, Ed.D. proposing a concurrent review of the Attorney General’s recent opinion on the Guam First Commission. He offers that if both or either of the findings of their reviews are similar to the AG, they work together with the AG to fix any deficiencies of the law.

 

“I have been directed by Governor Calvo to review the Attorney General’s opinion,” Canto wrote to Speaker Won Pat. “As I do so, Governor Calvo is requesting that the Legislature also have its legal counsel conduct a concurrent review. If both or either of our reviews supports a concern about the organicity of P.L. 29-128 similar to the Attorney General’s, the Governor feels we should immediately confer with the Attorney General’s Office to correct any deficiencies in the law so as to allow the Kumision to carry out its intended mandate to the fullest extent permitted by law.”

 

Canto received the AG’s opinion Friday and has been reviewing it since. Governor Calvo also is reviewing the opinion. Canto explains in his letter to Speaker Won Pat that a similar concern was raised by Supreme Court Chief Justice F. Philip Carbullido in his transmittal of the Judiciary’s nomination to the Guam First Commission. Governor Calvo believes it is critical to hear concerns from all Guam stakeholders about the military buildup and to work collaboratively to move Guam’s agenda forward. The Governor wants to ensure that actions taken are far removed from future legal challenge.

 

“The significance of the Court’s letter has been amplified by the Attorney General’s opinion,” Canto wrote. “The Attorney General’s opinion and the Court’s letter are cause for great concern to Governor Calvo. Because of the role which the Kumision is tasked to perform in guiding the Guam buildup, an enormous undertaking with serious and long-reaching consequences, Governor Calvo feels it is absolutely necessary that the Kumision’s authority is above reproach, and that we are all assured any action taken by the Kumision will be legally binding and not subject to future legal challenge.”

 

The letter to Speaker Won Pat and the letter from Chief Justice Carbullido are attached.