Guam – The Guam Attorney General’s Office has re-affrirmed its position that Dave Davis’s class action lawsuit against the self-determination plebiscite is “not ripe” and should be dismissed.
The Attorney General’s re-affirmation was filed in District Court today [Monday] in response to objections filed earlier this month by Davis’ Attorney Christian Adams who argued against Magistrate Judge Joaquin Manibusan’s recommendation to dismiss the lawsuit.
In his response to Adams, Assistant Attorney General Robert Weinberg writes that “Davis has alleged no injury-in-fact because the results of the plebiscite are advisory only, do not purport to represent the views of the island as a whole, and will not affect his political rights in any way.”
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.” The lawsuit argues that limiting registration to “native inhabitants” is in itself a violation of constitutional rights.
But Weinberg’s response is that “even if ‘Native Inhabitants of Guam’ were a race-based classification, and it is not, until such time as the territory of Guam formally enters the union, a non-binding plebiscite intended to solicit and transmit the views of the remnants of a colonized people does not offend the Constitution or the Voting Rights Act.”
Presiding District Court Judge Francis Tydingco-Gatewood will decide whether or not to accept Magistrate Judge Manibusan’s recommendations.
U.S. Magistrate’s Judge Joaquin Manibusan Recommends Dismissal:
On June 14th, U.S. Magistrate’s Judge Joaquin Manibusan recommended dismissal because “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.”
Davis Attorney Christian Adam’s Responds July 2 Objecting to Dismissal:
Davis’s Attorney, Christian Adams objected to Magistrate Judge Manibusan’s recommendations primarily because “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.”