The Election Law Center press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 26, 2014
Dave Davis Asks Ninth Circuit to Recognize That Racially Exclusive Plebiscite Registration Injures Citizens on Guam
Asks appeals court to reverse dismissal of challenge to plebiscite
The United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will be hearing arguments today, August 27, 2014, in Arnold Davis v. Guam at 10 a.m. (ChST) in the 4th floor courtroom at the federal courthouse in Hagatna, Guam. (The hearing will take place at 8 p.m. EDT on August 26, 2014).
Arnold “Dave” Davis tried to register for the Decolonization Registry so he could vote on a future status plebiscite regarding Guam’s relationship to the United States. His attempt to register to vote was denied because Davis could not trace his ancestry to a native inhabitant of Guam. Guam law prohibits those who do not have the correct ancestors from registering to vote for the status plebiscite. According to an expert report by Davis’ expert, nearly every single ancestor who would vest the modern right to register to vote was of the Chamorro racial group.
Davis has challenged the racially exclusive voter registration as a violation of the Fifteenth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, a violation of the Voting Rights Act, the 1957 Civil Rights Act and other federal civil rights statutes.
Davis has appealed the decision of the United States District Court that a citizen suffers no injury when a state passes a racially discriminatory voter registration law and is excluded from registering to vote because of his race when the election is to take place at some point in the future. The case was filed by J. Christian Adams of the Election Law Center along with the Center for Individual Rights in Washington D.C. Mun Su Park serves as local counsel on Guam.
“All American citizens are allowed to register to vote regardless of their race or who their grandfathers were,” said J. Christian Adams. “Guam cannot classify some voters as second class, not worthy to vote on the important issue of Guam’s status.”
Scott P. Martin of Gibson Dunn and Crutcher, LLP, will be arguing the case in Guam. The brief authored by Douglas Cox, Martin and other lawyers can be obtained here. (http://www.cir-usa.org/legal_docs/Guam_Ninth_Cir_Brief.pdf). Davis asks the appeals court to reverse the District Court’s dismissal.
More information can be found at http://www.cir-usa.org/cases/davis_v_guam.html