Davis attorney to Congress: stop funding Guam's political status education
A national voting rights advocate is urging Congress to block funding for Guam's political status education campaign.
Speaking today before a House Sub-committee, Attorney J. Christian Adams called on Washington to stop supporting self-determination efforts that the federal courts have already ruled unconstitutional.
Adams is the president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation and the attorney for plaintiff Dave Davis, who first challenged the self-determination vote in 2011. The Guam District Court ruled in 2017 that the proposed native inhabitant only plebiscite violates the 15th amendment which prohibits the denial of voting rights based on race and color.
The decision was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit in July. Adams told the subcommittee on the constitution, civil rights and civil liberties that Washington can take more steps to halt the effort.
"When Dave Davis sought to register to vote at the government office, his registration form was marked void by election officials, the form is in my written record, my written statement," he said. "Even in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s southern registrars were not brazen enough to deny the right to vote explicitly on having the wrong racial blood. Congress can do something. For one, stop public funding of racially discriminatory election public information campaigns. Congress has exclusive power in the territories and can stop this."
Commission on Decolonization Director Melvin Won Pat Borja said it's hard to argue against a public education effort, and it won't stop the commission from continuing. He said they expect to expend the balance of the $300,000 in grant money from the Interior Department by the end of the month and will continue to seek funding for their education campaigns for as long as it is available. He said the governor is expected to announce a decision on a further legal challenge to the plebiscite ruling before the October filing deadline.