Legislature to file brief in response to governor’s quarantine case by April 6

Speaker Therese Terlaje (PNC file photo)

In response to the Governor’s allegations last week that Guam’s Public Health Emergency laws are inorganic, the Legislature will be accepting the Supreme Court of Guam’s invitation to file a response brief in the Declaratory Judgment case brought by the Governor originally alleging that challenges to her quarantine orders were unconstitutional.

The decision to file a response came in the form of the passage of Resolution No. 47-36 (LS) relative to authorizing I Liheslaturan Guåhan to be represented in Guam Supreme Court Case No. CRQ20-002 and assert the validity of the provisions of the Islan Guåhan Emergency Health Powers Act at issue, and ultimately, preserve the Legislature’s power granted by the Organic Act to enact law necessary to protect the health, safety, and general well-being of the people of Guam.

Resolution No. 47-36 (LS) passed with 14 ayes and 1 excused.

The Organic Act mandates that the Governor’s powers are subject to the laws of Guam, even in her supervision of healthcare and quarantine. These specific quarantine and isolation procedures in sections 19604 and 19605 of Title 10 Chapter 19 Guam Code Annotated, which give due process and an opportunity for a court hearing to those in quarantine, were set in statute years ago and are necessary protections against arbitrary confinement and abuse of power.

The Legislature’s deadline to file its brief is April 6th.

(Speaker Therese Terlaje Release)