Article 5: Applicability of Laws

  • Case Annotations: 1 N.M.I. 388--396, 397.

Section 501.
(a) To the extent that they are not applicable of their own force, the following provisions of the Constitution of the United States will be applicable within the Northern Mariana Islands as if the Northern Mariana Islands were one of the several States: Article I, Section 9, Clauses 2, 3, and 8; Article I, Section 10, Clauses 1 and 3; Article IV, Section 1 and Section 2, Clauses 1 and 2; Amendments 1 through 9, inclusive; Amendment 13; Amendment 14, Section 1; Amendment 15; Amendment 19; and Amendment 26; provided, however, that neither trial by jury nor indictment by grand jury shall be required in any civil action or criminal prosecution based on local law, except where required by local law. Other provisions of or amendments to the Constitution of the United States, which do not apply of their own force within the Northern Mariana Islands, will be applicable within the Northern Mariana Islands only with the approval of the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands and of the Government of the United States.

  • Case Annotations: In re "C.T.M.", 1 N.M.I. 410--413; Commonwealth v. Peters, 1 N.M.I. 466--473; Commonwealth v. Hanada, 2 N.M.I. 343--348; Commonwealth v. Oden, 3 N.M.I. 186 (1992), aff'd, 19 F.3d 26 (9th Cir. 1994); Santos v. Nansay Micronesia, Inc., 4 N.M.I. 155 (1994), appeal dismissed, 76 F.3d 299 (9th Cir. 1996); Sablan v. Tenorio, 4 N.M.I. 351--358.

U.S. Law, Applicability of
—Constitution: Particular Provisions Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, concerning right to jury trial in civil actions, applies within the Commonwealth. Covenant § 501(a). Santos v. Nansay Micronesia, Inc., 4 N.M.I. 155 (1994), appeal dismissed, 76 F.3d 299 (9th Cir. 1996).

Double Jeopardy Clause of Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, providing that no person shall be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, is applicable to the Commonwealth. Covenant § 501(a). Commonwealth v. Oden, 3 N.M.I. 186 (1992), aff'd, 19 F.3d 26 (9th Cir. 1994).

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is made applicable to the Commonwealth by Covenant § 501(a). Commonwealth v. Hanada, 2 N.M.I. 343 (1991).

Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has been made applicable to the Commonwealth pursuant to Covenant § 501(a). In re "C.T.M.," 1 N.M.I. 410 (1990).

(b) The applicability of certain provisions of the Constitution of the United States to the Northern Mariana Islands will be without prejudice to the validity of and the power of the Congress of the United States to consent to Sections 203, 506 and 805 and the proviso in Subsection (a) of this Section.

  • Case Annotations: Commonwealth v. Peters, 1 N.M.I. 466--471, 472, 473; Sablan v. Inos, 3 N.M.I. 418--433; Commonwealth v. Cabrera, 4 N.M.I. 240--252; Sablan v. Tenorio, 4 N.M.I. 351-- 361.

Section 502.
(a) The following laws of the United States in existence on the effective date of this Section and subsequent amendments to such laws will apply to the Northern Mariana Islands, except as otherwise provided in this Covenant:

(1) those laws which provide federal services and financial assistance programs and the federal banking laws as they apply to Guam; Section 228 of Title II and Title XVI of the Social Security Act as it applies to the several States; the Public Health Service Act as it applies to the Virgin Islands; and the Micronesian Claims Act as it applies to the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands;

(2) those laws not described in paragraph (1) which are applicable to Guam and which are of general application to the several States as they are applicable to the several states; and

  • Case Annotations: Federal statute authorizing private civil rights enforcement actions against persons allegedly violating such rights applies to the Commonwealth as it is applicable to the several states. Covenant § 502(a)(2); 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Sablan v. Tenorio, 4 N.M.I. 351 (1996).

(3) those laws not described in paragraphs (1) or (2) which are applicable to the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, but not their subsequent amendments unless specifically made applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands, as they apply to the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands until termination of the Trusteeship Agreement, and will thereafter be inapplicable.

  • Case Annotations: Sablan v. Tenorio, 4 N.M.I. 351--358.

(b) The laws of the United States regarding coastal shipments and the conditions of employment, including the wages and hours of employees, will apply to the activities of the United States Government and its contractors in the Northern Mariana Islands.

Section 503.
The following laws of the United States, presently inapplicable to the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, will not apply to the Northern Mariana Islands except in the manner and to the extent made applicable to them by the Congress by law after termination of the Trusteeship Agreement:

(a) except as otherwise provided in Section 506, the immigration and naturalization laws of the United States;

(b) except as otherwise provided in Subsection (b) of Section 502, the coastwise laws of the United States and any prohibition in the laws of the United States against foreign vessels landing fish or unfinished fish products in the United States; and

(c) the minimum wage provisions of Section 6, Act of June 25, 1938, 52 Stat. 1062, as amended.

Section 504.
The President will appoint a Commission on Federal Laws to survey the laws of the United States and to make recommendations to the United States Congress as to which laws of the United States not applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands should be made applicable and to what extent and in what manner, and which applicable laws should be made inapplicable and to what extent and in what manner. The Commission will consist of seven persons (at least four of whom will be citizens of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands who are and have been for at least five years domiciled continuously in the Northern Mariana Islands at the time of their appointments) who will be representative of the federal, local, private and public interests in the applicability of laws of the United States to the Northern Mariana Islands. The Commission will make its final report and recommendations to the Congress within one year after the termination of the Trusteeship Agreement, and before that time will make such interim reports and recommendations to the Congress as it considers appropriate to facilitate the transition of the Northern Mariana Islands to its new political status. In formulating its recommendations the Commission will take into consideration the potential effect of each law on local conditions within the Northern Mariana Islands, the policies embodied in the law and the provisions and purposes of this Covenant. The United States will bear the cost of the work of the Commission.

Section 505.
The laws of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, of the Mariana Islands District and its local municipalities, and all other Executive and District orders of a local nature applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands on the effective date of this Section and not inconsistent with this Covenant or with those provisions of the Constitution, treaties or laws of the United States applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands will remain in force and effect until and unless altered by the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Section 506.
(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subsection 503(a), upon the effective date of this Section the Northern Mariana Islands will be deemed to be a part of the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended for the following purposes only, and the said Act will apply to the Northern Mariana Islands to the extent indicated in each of the following Subsections of this Section.

(b) With respect to children born abroad to United States citizen or non-citizen national parents permanently residing in the Northern Mariana Islands the provisions of Section 301 and 308 of the said Act will apply.

(c) With respect to aliens who are "immediate relatives" (as defined in Subsection 201(b) of the said Act) of United States citizens who are permanently residing in the Northern Mariana Islands all the provisions of the said Act will apply, commencing when a claim is made to entitlement to "immediate relative" status. A person who is certified by the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands both to have been a lawful permanent resident of the Northern Mariana Islands and to have had the "immediate relative" relationship denoted herein on the effective date of this Section will be presumed to have been admitted to the United States for lawful permanent residence as of that date without the requirement of any of the usual procedures set forth in the said Act. For the purpose of the requirements of judicial naturalization, the Northern Mariana Islands will be deemed to constitute a State as defined in Subsection 101(a) paragraph (36) of the said Act. The Courts of record of the Northern Mariana Islands and the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands will be included among the courts specified in Subsection 310(a) of the said Act and will have jurisdiction to naturalize persons who become eligible under this Section and who reside within their respective jurisdictions.

(d) With respect to persons who will become citizens or nationals of the United States under Article III of this Covenant or under this Section the loss of nationality provisions of the said Act will apply.

  • Case Annotations: Sablan v. Inos, 3 N.M.I. 418--432.