Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Court grants President Urusemal's 'Motion to Dismiss'

Palikir, POHNPEI (FSM Information Services): June 23, 2006 - The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the Federated States of Micronesia has granted President Joseph J. Urusemal's "Motion to Dismiss."

The Motion to Dismiss was granted on June 22, after the Appellate Division decided that the matter of Christian v. Urusemal, Appellate Division docket number P2-2006, "is a non-justiciable issue."

On behalf of the President, the Department of Justice had on May 11th, entered a motion with the Court to dismiss a complaint filed by the 14th FSM Congress questioning the validity of certain vetoes by President Urusemal.

President Urusemal's vetoes were based on his concerns that because the bills were passed in two readings on the same day, rather than separate days as the Constitution requires, the bills were passed in violation of the Constitution and should not be permitted to become law.

Upon review of the matter, the Appellate Panel issued an "Order of Dismissal" which concluded that the President's reasons for vetoing a Congressional measure cannot be questioned in the Judicial Branch.

The members of the FSM Supreme Court Appellate Panel includes,

1. The Honorable Andon L. Amarich, Chief Justice;
2. The Honorable Martin G. Yinug, Associate Justice; and
3. The Honorable Dennis K. Yamase, Associate Justice.

The Order of Dismissal further noted that the FSM Constitution "restricts the FSM Supreme Court's jurisdiction to actual cases and disputes." The Motion to Dismiss filed on May 11 2006, by the Department of Justice on behalf of the President, is therefore granted.

Jurisdiction was one of the three reasons cited by the Department of Justice in the Motion to Dismiss. The Department had argued that:

the Constitution gives the President the power to veto legislation for any reason. It also gives Congress the power to override the President's veto. However, the Courts have no power to affect a Presidential veto.

The Department had noted in the Motion to Dismiss, "this separation of powers between the branches is an important part of our political system."

President Urusemal has written to Speaker Christian encouraging Congress to pass the vetoed measures on second reading and transmit to the Executive for signature.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356