VIDEO: Pangelinan Confident Self Determination Will Trump Civil Rights When Davis’ Plebiscite Appeal Is Decided

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Guam – Yigo resident Dave Davis will appeal the dismissal of his plebiscite lawsuit to the 9th Circuit Court.

His attorney, Christian Adams argues the ruling merely delays a final decision on whether or not his client’s constitutional rights were violated.

Senator Ben Pangelinan however is expressing confidence that the right to self determination will trump Davis’ civil rights claim.

READ Judge Tyrdingco-Gatewood’s decision HERE

Wednesday, Guam’s Chief  District Court Judge, Frances Tydingco-Gatewood issued a decision dismissing, “without prejudice,” Davis’ civil rights complaint.

In an email response, Davis’ Attorney Christian Adams tells PNC News “we are disappointed by the ruling.”

Adams, of the Election Law Center in Washington D.C., says “Davis had argued that a citizen is injured when they are denied the right to fully participate in any political process.”

Judge Tydingco-Gatewood ruled that Davis’ complaint was not “ripe” for adjudication because no harm had been done.

Adams responds that: “Even GovGuam did not find the ripeness argument to have enough merit to bring it in the first place.  Mr. Davis will be appealing the ripeness ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals where we are hopeful existing Supreme Court precedent will lead to a reversal and remand.”

And he maintains that: “No plebiscite election will ever take place on Guam without the discriminatory problems being fully litigated.”

READ the emailed response from Attorney Adams in FULL below:

Following is the statement regarding the court’s decision in Davis v. Guam:

Obviously we are disappointed by the ruling. Mr. Davis had argued that a citizen is injured when they are denied the right to fully participate in any political process. Even GovGuam did not find the ripeness argument to have enough merit to bring it in the first place.  Mr. Davis will be appealing the ripeness ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals where we are hopeful existing Supreme Court precedent will lead to a reversal and remand.  Regardless, no plebiscite election will ever take place on Guam without the discriminatory problems being fully litigated.”  

Davis’ lawsuit was filed in Guam District Court in November 2011. He charged that his civil rights were violated when his request to sign up for the non-binding referendum was rejected because he did not meet the definition of a native inhabitant of Guam.

The lawsuit alleges that the Guam Election Commission has “illegally and unconstitutionally” refused to allow registered Guam voters who do not meet the definition of  “native inhabitant” to register for the non-binding  plebiscite. 

READ Davis’ Class Action complaint filed on November 22, 2011 HERE

Judge Tydingco-Gatewood dismissed the case “without prejudice”  [that means it can be refiled] because it was not “ripe” for adjudication and no harm had been done.

Judge Tydingco-Gatewood wrote:

“The Plaintiff may bring this suit again before this court for consideration,” writes Judge Tydingco-Gatewood, “if and when the Plaintiff is able to demonstrate that the plebiscite will occur for certain any time soon.”