Limtiaco v. Camacho
- The Legislature of Guam authorized Guam's Governor to issue bonds to fund the Territory's continuing obligations. Concluding that the bonds would violate the debt-limitation provision of the Organic Act of Guam, § 11, 64 Stat. 387, as amended, 48 U.S.C. § 1423a, the attorney general 1 of Guam refused to sign contracts necessary to issue the bonds. In response, the Governor sought a declaration from the Guam Supreme Court that issuance of the bonds would not violate the Organic Act's debt limitation. The Guam Supreme Court held that § 1423a limits Guam's allowed indebtedness to 10 percent of the appraised valuation, not the assessed valuation, of taxable property in Guam.
The Court held that Guam's debt limitation must be calculated according to the assessed or the appraised valuation of property in Guam. The Court referred approvingly at one point to "[t]he jurisdiction-stripping statute."
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the opinion for the Court, which Justice Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Anthony Kennedy and Justice Stephen Breyer joined. Justice David Souter concurred in part and dissented in part, which was joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sam Alito.