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Mr. UNDERWOOD. OK, and I would submit, Mr. Chairman, that some of the amendments that the Justice has proposed here deal, I think, with the issue of some of the underlying issues here regarding the actual structure and some of the politicization of this process and attempts to divorce that in an effort to make sure that what we are honing in clearly here is the separate and co-equal nature of the three branches of Guam. So I hope we will get a chance to look at those in a markup 1 day.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. FLAKE. I just wanted to state for the record that I, too, thank Mr. Underwood for bringing this bill forward, and I hope that the Committee has a chance to mark it up.
The CHAIRMAN. We would be happy to.
And also, I would like to submit some questions to the panel. I would appreciate your response, because we are not going to have time to go into those. I do want to thank all of the people who testified. We appreciate your attendance here at this time, and we will move ahead with this legislation, and Ben, it is always good to see you, my friend. Ben Blaz was one of the true gentlemen of Congress and one we will always remember.
So with that, we stand adjourned. [Whereupon, at 12:32 p.m., the Committee adjourned.] [The following information was submitted for the record:] • Ada, Hon. Joseph F., Senator, 26th Guam Legislature, Letter
submitted for the record on H.R. 521 • Ada, Hon. Thomas C., Senator, 26th Guam Legislature, State
ment submitted for the record on H.R. 521
Letter submitted for the record on H.R. 521 • Arriola, Joaquin C., President, Guam Bar Association, Letter
submitted for the record on H.K. 521 • Bernhardt, David L., Director, Office of Congressional and
Legislative Affairs and Counselor to the Secretary, U.S.
H.R. 521 • Blair, William J., et al., Law Offices of Klemm, Blair, Sterling
& Johnson, Letter submitted for the record on H.R. 521 • Bordallo, Hon. Madeleine Z., Lieutenant Governor of Guam,
Statement submitted for the record on H.R. 521 • Brooks, Terrence M., et al., Brooks Lynch & Tydingco LLP,
Letter submitted for the record on H.R. 521 • Camacho, Hon. Felix P., Senator, 26th Guam Legislature,
Letter submitted for the record on H.R. 521 • Charfauros, Hon. Mark C., Senator, 26th Guam Legislature,
Letter submitted for the record on H.R. 521 • Cruz, Hon. Benjamin J.F., Honorable Chief Justice of Guam
(Retired), Letter submitted for the record on H.R. 521 • Cunliffe, F. Randall, and Jeffrey A. Cook, Cunliffe & Cook,
Letter submitted for the record on H.R. 521
• Forbes, Hon. Mark, Majority Leader, 26th Guam Legislature,
Statement submitted for the record on H.R. 521 • Forman, Seth, Keogh & Forman, Letter submitted for the
record on H.R. 521 • Gray, Gerald E., Law Offices of Gerald E. Gray, Letter
submitted for the record on H.R. 521 • Guerrero, Hon. Lou Leon, Senator, 26th Guam Legislature,
Letter submitted for the record on H.R. 521 • Gutierrez, Hon. Carl T.C., Governor of Guam, Statement
submitted for the record on H.R. 521 • Hale, Elizabeth, Affidavit submitted for the record on H.R. 791 • Lannen, Thomas J., Dooley Lannen Roberts & Fowler LLP,
Memorandum submitted for the record on H.R. 521 • Leonard, Floyd E., Chief, Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, Statement
submitted for the record on H.R. 791
Statement submitted for the record on H.R. 521 • Maher, John B., McKeown, Vernier, Price & Maher, Letter
submitted for the record on H.R. 521 • Manibusan, Judge Joaquin V.E. Jr., on behalf of the majority
of Superior Court of Guam Judges, Statement submitted for
the record on H.R. 521 • McCaleb, Neal A., Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, U.S.
Department of the Interior, Letter submitted for the record on
H.R. 791 • McDonald, Joseph B., Legal Counsel, Citibank N.A. Guam,
Letter submitted for the record on H.R. 521
Legislature, Statement submitted for the record on H.R. 521 • Roberts, Thomas L., Dooley Lannen Roberts & Fowler LLP,
Letter submitted for the record on H.R. 521 • Ryan, Hon. James E., Attorney General, State of Illinois,
Letter submitted for the record on H.R. 791 • San Agustin, Hon. Joe T., Former Speaker of the Guam Legis
lature, Statement submitted for the record on H.R. 521
record • Troutman, Charles H., Compiler of Laws, Office of the
Attorney General, Department of Law, Territory of Guam,
Letter submitted for the record on H.R. 521 • Unpingco, Hon. Antonio R., Speaker,, 26th Guam Legislature,
Letter submitted for the record on H.R. 521 • Wagner, Annice M., President, Conference of Chief Justices,
Letter and Resolution submitted for the record on H.R. 521 • Warnsing, Mark R., Deputy Counsel to the Governor, State of
Illinois, Letters submitted for the record on H.R. 791 • Won Pat, Hon. Judith T., Senator, 26th Guam Legislature,
Statement submitted for the record on H.R. 521 [A letter from The Hon. Joseph F. Ada, Senator, 26th Guam Legislature, submitted for the record on H.R. 521 follows:]
As the Chairman of the Guam Legislature's Committee on Power, Public Safety and the
The United States Congress rightfully granted Guam's lawmakers the authority to create
Like Guam's executive and legislative branches, Gusm's Judiciary should be subject to
l'assage of 11.K. 521 would render as moot the existence of the Judicial Council of Guam
Testimony of Hon. Joseph F. Ada on H.R. 521 page 2 of 3
Guam's Judicial Council exists with equal representation of both the Guam Supreme Court and the Superior Court. It is modeled after the Federal Court system's Federal Judicial Councils that have ably served the U.S. Supreme Court, Appellate and District Courts for the past two hundred and twenty four (224) years. The Guam Judicial Council does not remove the Supreme Court from being the head of Guam's Judiciary any more than the existence of the U.S. Federal Judicial Council removes the U.S. Supreme Court from being the head of the U.S. Judiciary.
It is our belief that H.R. 521 would not only undermine and repeal existing Guam law, but it would implement important decisions and policies for Guam and our judicial system that should be left to the people of Guam and our elected local lawinakers.
One main concern with H.R. 521 is that its passage would do much more than grant the Supreme Court of Guam administrative control over the courts of our island. Should II.R. 521 pass, it will repeal a variety of existing Guam law. Guam currently has a system much like that found in California. We have a Judicial Council made up of judges and justices, as well as the attorney general of Guam and the chairperson of the Guam Legislature's committee on the judiciary. The purpose and function of the Judicial Council is to handle administration of the courts, with local law carefully and specifically delineating the powers, duties and responsibilities of the council.
To exemplify this fact, there are currently contained in the Guam Code Annotated the same number of specific statutes that address the powers and duties of the Judicial Council as statutes delineating the duties and powers of the Supreme Court of Guam.
Pursuant to various Cuam statutes set forth in the Guam Code Annotated, the Judicial Council is the body which is attached to the Judicial Branch for purposes of administration; responsible for administering the unified pay schedule for the judiciary; for adopting personnel rules for the judicial branch; for addressing employee grievances and appcals; for promulgating its own rules for conduct and operation; for recommending policies to the court and the legislature regarding the administration of the judicial system; for overseeing the judicial building fund.
This recitation is made simply to convey just a portion of the specific laws that will be repealed if H.R. 521 is passed. It is evident that the Judicial Council was the administrative body intended to, and empowered to, administer Guam's judicial system.
Currently the Supreme Court has formed a Unified Judiciary Committee and participates as members of the Judicial Council. However, only the Judicial Council is statutorily enacted. With one stroke of a pen the Guam Supreme Court Justices could abolish the Unified Judiciary Committee, removing any form of representation from the trial courts.
Testimony of Hon. Joseph F. Ada on II.R. 521 page 3 of 3
Today Congress separately reviews and appropriates the U.S. Supreme Court budget and the Appellate-District Court budgets. We do no less on Guam. Yet H.R. 521 disregards federal precedent and renders meaningless the existence of Guarn's Judicial Council and much current Guam law.
I strongly believe that Guam's own people and their democratically elected representatives, the Guam Legislature, are in a better position to make these important decisions regarding; the administration of Guam's court system. II.R. 521 does not advance any federal interest, but it does impede federal interest in the promotion of local self-government.
In closing, it is my belief that the Supreme Court of Guam should be insulated from administering a Superior Court or any other lower courts which handle court cases, magistrates and arraignments; supervises probation; conducts counseling of defendants; conducis defendant drug testing, serves subpoenas and summons; handles inmates; sclccts Grand, Petit and trial juries; appoints indigent attomeys and countless other duties and functions. Each of these functions and duties could contain issues that the Supreme Court of Guam may hear on appeal. I believe II.R. 521 would create a tremendous potential for conflicts of interest in a community of only 157,000 people and dihite the rights of individuals to appeal a case concerning policies and procedures of a trial court, particularly if the very Guam Supreme Court Justices whom would hear their appeal administered those policies and procedures.
Judicial independence, like the Declaration of Independence, does not tout the absence of law, but the very presence of laws and the right of individuals to have a say in a government under which they are governed. Although Congress has the explicit constitutional prerogative to impose law on Guam, imposing a federal requirement on the local government's judicial branch would compromise the consistent principle of respect for self-government.
I thank you for the opportunity to allow me to cxprcss my views on 11.R. 521. I wish you and the Committee well in your deliberation on an issue that could potentially have a lasting impact on the island and people of Guam, as well as federal interest in our community.
Cacoph 2. Asla
Joseph H. Ada