3 Aug 2006

Legal opinion on American Samoa's Hawaiian Air policy

1:38 pm on 3 August 2006

The law firm of Hall and Associates has submitted a legal opinion on the American Samoan governor's executive order of last week for Hawaiian Air to pull out of the territory.

The opinion was requested by the Senate President and senators and prepared by attorney Jeff Waller.

The opinion explores whether the governor has the authority to order Hawaiian Air out and whether his action conflicts with the supremacy clause in the US constitution and with federal law.

In Mr Waller's opinion, the governor has the authority to set aside a foreign corporation's permit under American Samoa law when the governor deems it necessary for the public good.

However Hawaiian may continue its service to American Samoa because of the supremacy clause of the US constitution.

Mr Waller says federal statutes and regulations take supremacy over the governor's executive order relating to the provision of essential air service.

The essential air service rules are dictated by federal law.