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The Guam legislature has submitted a brief in a case pending before the Guam Supreme Court, arguing that the public health laws it has enacted are necessary and organic.

In December 2020, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero asked the Supreme Court to interpret the quarantine provisions in the Emergency Health Powers Act.

At the time, the governor said she was seeking redress in the High Court because the judgment of a Superior Court judge should not substitute for the expert opinion of medical professionals. who are battling COVID-19 every day in Guam.

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President Therese Terlaje said the governor raised a new argument that senators overstepped their powers when they passed sections 19604 and 19605 of the Emergency Health Powers Act. Articles of the law specify when the public health authority must isolate or quarantine individuals and the isolation and quarantine procedures.

On Tuesday, the legislature filed a response brief in the case. He says the governor’s powers are subject to the laws of Guam, even in his oversight of health care and quarantine.

The contested quarantine and isolation procedures provide due process and the possibility of a court hearing to people in quarantine and were established by law years ago, as necessary protections against arbitrary isolation and abuse of power, a statement from the Terlaje office said.

The legislature also said that Guam’s 26th legislature found the provisions reasonable, when the law was enacted in 2003, with the primary purpose of controlling serious health threats and balancing this with individual civil liberties and d ” ensure access to due process.

So-Sen. Lou Leon Guerrero rose to support passage of the bill, the statement said.

The legislature asserts that the Islan Guåhan Emergency Health Powers Act is a core policy, consistent with the Organic Law of Guam and called on the court to strengthen the power of the legislature, granted by the Organic Law, to d ” pass the law necessary to protect the health, safety and general well-being of the people of Guam.

This article originally appeared on Pacific Daily News: Legislature: Our Enacted Public Health Laws Are Needed