Chief Judge shoots down plebiscite law, deems unconstitutional - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Chief Judge shoots down plebiscite law, deems unconstitutional

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District Court of Guam Chief Judge Frances Tydingco Gatewood has issued a decision in Arnold Davis’ lawsuit against the Guam Election Commission. The case was heard in her courtroom in September 2016. Davis was prohibited from registering to vote on Guam’s political status.

Guam law only allows native inhabitants or a descendant of one who was naturalized under the Organic Act in 1950 to register and vote in a plebiscite. Davis argues that his constitutional rights were violated. He claims the prohibition from registering to vote, is a violation of the Voting Rights Act, the Organic Act of Guam and his Fifth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendment rights.  He subsequently filed a motion for summary judgment.

In a 26 page decision and order issued this afternoon,  Judge Gatewood concluded that although the court recognizes the long history of colonization of this island and its people, and the desire of those colonized to have their right to self-determination, the court must also recognize the right of others who have made Guam their home.

Judge Gatewood granted Davis’ motion for summary judgment. “The court permanently enjoins the government of Guam and its officers, employees, agents and political subdivisions from enforcing the Political Status Plebiscite that specifically limits the voters to “Native Inhabitants of Guam” and any laws and regulations designed to enforce the Plebiscite law insofar as such enforcement would prevent or hinder Plaintiff and other qualified voters who are not Native Inhabitants of Guam registering for and voting in the Political Status Plebiscite,” the Judge ordered.

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