Governance is purposeful action by the Government of Guam to guide citizens in a society. This is done by establishing partnerships that allow for a strong public and private sector.

Guam’s “unincorporated” status means that the island is the property of the United States rather than a part of it. According to the U.S. Constitution, Congress can dispose of and make all rules regarding any property belonging to it.



About Governance in Guam

The 1950 Organic Act gave the Government of Guam limited self-government and made all laws in the territory subject to the U.S. Constitution. Article IV, Section III of the U.S. constitution, also known as the territorial clause, states that “Congress shall have the power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States.” Guam’s current status as an unincorporated territory of the United States allows the U.S. to exercise complete sovereignty over the Government of Guam. This limits the government’s ability to make all the rules and regulations necessary for Guam. In addition, the U.S. has also chosen to selectively apply constitutional provisions and citizen rights to the people of Guam.



Did You Know

“Since Guam is an unincorporated territory, its government has only those powers conferred upon it by Congress.” Rodriguez v. Gaylord, [1977 DC Hawaii] 429 F. Supp. 797 (Organic Act of Guam)

A person charged with “drunk driving” has no (U.S. Constitution) 6th Amendment right to counsel at the time of arrest. People v. Eclavea, (1981 Superior Cr.) Crim #647-80. (Organic Act of Guam)

Only an amendment to the United States Constitution can give to the people of Guam the right to vote for President and Vice President. There is no existing constitutional right requiring such a vote. Attorney General of Guam v. United States, C.A.9 1984, No. 83-1890, 738 F.2d 1017. (Organic Act of Guam)

Because Guam is an unincorporated territory having only powers given it by Congress, “it is in essence an instrumentality of the federal government.” Sakamoto v. Duty Free Shoppers, Ltd., D.C.Guam 1983, 613 F.Supp. 381, aff’d. 764 F.2d 1285, cert. den. 106 S.Ct. 1457, 89 L.Ed.2d 715. (Organic Act of Guam)