The State Constitutional

Convention Clearinghouse

U.S. states where the people can use a periodic state constitutional convention referendum
to bypass the legislature's gatekeeping power over constitutional amendment

American Samoa

Summary: given that America Samoa doesn’t have a periodic concon and convention delegates are not directly elected by the people, it’s interest to me is marginal. Interesting, though, that the Governor, a competing branch to the Legislature, gets to call, fund, etc. the convention, so the bypass principle is central to its design.

According to Lisset Pino’s paper, American Samoa has had six concons. But Lisset actually only cites three–since the mid-1980s and vaguely–in her/his paper.

Circa: 1960, 1966, mid-1980s (two concons), 2010

ConCon History

Constitution of American Samoa, Wikipedia.

The original Constitution was adopted by a constitutional convention and was signed by the 68 members of the convention and United States Secretary of the Interior Fred Andrew Seaton on 27 April 1960 and became effective 17 October 1960.[1][2] A Constitutional Convention of American Samoa in Fagatogo begun on 26 September 1966 and approved several amendments,[3] 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.

1960 Convention–Successful

1966 Convention–Successful

2010 Convention–Unsuccessful

Faleomavaega wins 12th election to Congress, Associated Press, Nov. 4, 2010.

Wheaton, Sarah, An American Concept, Carried Out in Samoan Style, New York Times, June 24, 2010

Arce, Dwyer, American Samoa constitutional convention approves amendments to limit federal authority, Jurist, July 4, 2010. (delegates not elected; chosen by local officials)

Post-2010 Articles

No Constitutional Convention this time, says Lolo, legislative process is cheaper, Samoa News, Dec. 6, 2017.

Samaon Constitution,_American_Samoa_Constitution


Article V, Section 4

Revision of the constitution. In view of the changing conditions in American Samoa, the Governor shall appoint a new Constitutional Committee five years after the effective date of this Constitution to prepare amendments or a revised draft constitution to be submitted to the Governor who shall call a constitutional convention to consider the same. The delegates to the convention shall be selected by their respective county councils. The number of delegates from each county shall be the number obtained by dividing the population of the county, as shown by the last preceding Federal census, by 400, any fraction in the quotient obtained to be disregarded if such fraction shall be less than one-half and if such fraction shall be one-half or more it shall be considered to be one unit, provided that each county shall have at least one delegate, and provided further that Swains Island shall have one delegate selected in open meeting by the adult permanent residents of the island who are United States nationals. If the convention approves such amendments or draft constitution either with changes made therein by the convention or without changes, the same as approved shall be submitted by the Governor to the voters eligible to vote for members of the House of Representatives at the next general election; and if a majority of the voters voting approve the amendments or proposed revised constitution, the Governor shall submit the same to the Secretary of the Interior for his approval, and if he approves the same, then the amendments shall become part of the Constitution or the proposed revised constitution shall replace this constitution, as the case may be. Salaries of employees of the Convention and per them for delegates shall be provided by law. The Government shall furnish the Convention with necessary supplies and other necessary services.[1]