THE SUPREME COURT OF THE
FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA
Cite as Robert v. Mori,
6 FSM Intrm. 178 (Chuuk St. Ct. T. 1993)

[6 FSM Intrm. 178]

ROMAN ROBERT,
Plaintiff,

vs.

ELECTION COMMISSIONER BOB MORI,
Defendant.

CSSC CASE NO. 8-93

JUDGMENT

John R. Petewon
Associate Justice
Chuuk State Supreme Court

Decided:  April 15, 1993

APPEARANCES:
For the Plaintiff:          Frank Casiano
                                     Johnny Meippen, Esq. (argued)
                                     Micronesian Legal Services Corporation
                                     P.O. Box D
                                     Weno, Chuuk FM 96942

For the Defendant:     Tony Rosokow
                                     Office of the Chuuk Attorney General
                                     P.O. Box 189
                                     Weno, Chuuk FM 96942

*    *    *    *

HEADNOTES
Administrative Law ) Judicial Review; Constitutional Law ) Chuuk ) Judicial Powers
     The Chuuk State Supreme Court has constitutional jurisdiction to review the actions of any

[6 FSM Intrm. 179]

state administrative agency, and decide all relevant questions of law, interpret constitutional and statutory provisions and determine the meaning or applicability of the terms of an agency action.  Robert v. Mori, 6 FSM Intrm. 178, 179 (Chk. S. Ct. Tr. 1993).

Constitutional Law ) Chuuk; Elections
     The framers did not intend that the constitutional provision barring persons convicted of a felony from serving in the legislature, even if pardoned, to have retroactive effect so as to bar a person who was both convicted and pardoned before the enactment of the Chuuk State Constitution from appearing on the official ballot for state legislator.  Robert v. Mori, 6 FSM Intrm. 178, 179-80 (Chk. S. Ct. Tr. 1993).

*    *    *    *

JOHN R. PETEWON, Associate Justice:
     The plaintiff here ran as an incumbent candidate in the election for the Chuuk State Legislature, held on March 2, 1993.  The plaintiff was convicted of a felony and was formally and properly pardoned prior to the enactment of the Chuuk State Constitution.

     Prior to the election, the plaintiff was told by the Attorney General and the Election Commissioner that he was not eligible to have his name appear on the official ballot.  The basis of this decision was based on the provision of the Chuuk Constitution which states that "persons convicted of a felony" are prohibited from holding the office of a state legislator.  Chk. Const. art. V, 7(b).

     On January 15, 1993, plaintiff filed a motion for an ex parte Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) requesting that the court order his name to be printed on the official ballot.  The TRO was issued as requested on the same day.

       Jurisdiction is based on article VII, section 3(c) of the Chuuk State Constitution, which states that the trial division of the State Supreme Court has jurisdiction to review the actions of any state administrative agency, board, or commission, as may be provided by law.  Also, the Chuuk Judiciary Act of 1990, Chk. SL No. 190-08, 17(2) (State Supreme Court Review of Administrative Action) states that, "the reviewing court shall decide all relevant questions of law, interpret constitutional and statutory provisions and determine the meaning or applicability of the terms of an agency action."

     The question now before the Court is whether the plaintiff did or did not have a lawful claim to have his name appear on the official ballot.

     It is the holding of this Court that article V, section 7(b) of the Chuuk State Constitution was not intended by the Constitutional framers to have retroactive effect, as there is no language indicating such an interpretation within the document itself.  As a result, this provision does not bar a person who was both convicted and pardoned before the enactment of the Chuuk Constitution from holding the office of a legislator.  Rather, those persons who were convicted and pardoned after the effective date of the Chuuk State Constitution are barred by this particular provision.  The Court does not find it necessary at this time to reach the issue raised by the plaintiff in regards to ex post facto laws, due to the purely prospective interpretation of article V, section 7(b) made in this opinion.

[6 FSM Intrm. 180]

     Accordingly, plaintiff had a lawful right to have his name appear on the official ballot for the Chuuk State Legislature election on March 2, 1993.

*    *    *    *