Guam News - Guam News
Guam - The Attorney pursuing a class action lawsuit over a law authorizing a plebiscite on the island's political status has filed a series of objections to District Court Judge Joaquin Manibusan's recommendation that the case be dismissed.
Yigo resident Dave Davis filed the complaint arguing that he, and others, have been discriminated against because they have been barred from registering to vote in a non-binding referendum on Guam's political status because they are not "native inhabitants of Guam."
His attorneys have argued that limiting registration to "native inhabitants" is a violation of constitutional rights.
However, U.S. Magistrate's Judge Joaquin Manibusan has recommended dismissal because "Plaintiff has no standing to bring an action ... Plaintiff has not alleged that he has been charged with any crime in relation to the Political Status Plebiscite act nor has he shown that he is subject to a genuine threat of imminent prosecution in relation to the said act."
But Christian Adams, of the Election Law Center in Washington D.C. filed an objected in District Court today [Monday] for the following reasons:
* "First, the Report [Magistrate Manibusan's report] was issued without any opportunity for plaintiff to be heard and contains other recommendations unrelated to any pending motion before this court."
* "Second, and as a consequence, the Report ignores the possibility that preventing a citizen from registering to participate in the political process is an injury, and that the “case or controversy” over the infliction of that injury is unambiguously “ripe” because it already has occurred and is ongoing."
* "Third, plaintiff has standing because he and those similarly situated are excluded from full participation in the political process."
* "Fourth, explicit statutory language makes plaintiff’s claims ripe."
* "Fifth, even if the denial of registration does not make this claim ripe, the Report is still in error. And sixth, adopting the Report would create impractical results in election cases."
Chief District Court Judge Francis Tydingco-Gatewood will decide whether or not to accept Magistrate Judge Manibusan's recommendations to dismiss.
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