Constitutional Law: Puka Bill's Gift to Samoa

American Samoa is a U.S. territory 2,300 miles southwest of Hawaii. Like other offshore outposts, including Guam and the Virgin Islands, it is run by the Interior Department and has a U.S.-appointed Governor— H. Rex Lee, an Iowa-born farm economist. In light of its status, how far does the U.S. Constitution cover American Samoa?

In Pago Pago on the Fourth of July, a 400-lb. U.S. construction worker, William C. Brown Jr., better known as Puka (Fat) Bill, was arrested without a warrant for threatening to shoot the Governor. The alleged threat had been made...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!