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Williams family welcomes Governor and ASG delegation to D.C.

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Gov. Lemanu P.S Mauga and First Lady Ella, led the ASG delegation — including some cabinet members and others — who were hosted by attorney Michael F. Williams of the Washington D.C. based law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP at Williams’ home in Alexandria, Virginia on Feb. 10 and were welcomed by Williams and his family.

According to the Governor’s Office, the governor presented Williams with an assemblage of the fue, to’oto’o, tanoa & ula fala as a thank you for his work, as the lead counsel and counsel of record to the American Samoa Government and Congresswoman Uifa’atali Aumua Amata for two federal citizenship lawsuits, in which they were successful.

The first case, Tuaua v. United States, was filed several years ago at the federal court in Washington D.C. in which local resident, Leneuoti Tuaua was the lead plaintiff.

Defendants in this case were the U.S. State Department and other senior officials, while ASG and the Congresswoman, intervened and filed oppositions.  The court sided with the defendants and the intervenors. 

The case was then appealed to the U.S Supreme Court, which denied to hear the matter, making it the landmark litigation through the Supreme Court concerning the citizenship status of the people of American Samoa, said ASG.

Williams was again the lead attorney for ASG and the Congresswoman in the second case, Fitisemanu v. United States on whether persons born in United States territories are entitled to birthright citizenship under the 14th Amendment’s citizenship clause, including whether the Insular Cases should be overruled.

Plaintiffs in this case were three individuals, who were born in American Samoa, and currently reside in Utah. The defendants were the U.S. State Department and other federal officials, while ASG and the Congresswoman again intervened.