Guam – The Gutierrez/Aguon team will be bringing in an off-island attorney to join their case and the Calvo/Tenorio team filed their opposition brief in the Supreme Court of Guam today.
The Gutierrez/Aguon team have been granted a request to include an off-island attorney to their team. California attorney Doron Weinberg will now join attorneys David Lujan and Ike Aguigui in their suit in the Guam supreme court to de-certify the gubernatorial results of the general election. As you may recall this request to annul or de-certify the election is based on the allegation that all seven of the members of the Guam Election Commission did not have the legal authority to certify the election either because their term had expired or they weren’t properly appointed to the commission in the first place.
Today Calvo/Tenorio’s attorney Mike Phillips filed an opposition brief in essence explaining why he and his clients believe the Gutierrez/Aguon team’s request to de-certify should be denied. In his summary of arguments Phillips states that “the gubernatorial team of Gutierrez-Aguon elected to wait until the eve of the Calvo-Tenorio inauguration to ask this court to enjoin the planned inauguration.” He also notes that many parties not included in this lawsuit are also extremely interested in the court’s determination in this case. He again points out that the petitioners (or the Gutierrez/Aguon team) do not deny that Calvo/Tenorio won the election. He also states that their claims (although greatly disputed by the Guam Election Commission) do not, even if presumed true, change the outcome of the general election results. He also argues that the de-facto officer doctrine (which is a doctrine that allows for officials to continue acting in their capacity despite technical defects in their title to office) applies to Guam. This is a doctrine that Phillips argues is used in the California court systems and one in which the supreme court held “springs from the fear of the chaos that would result from multiple and repetitious suits challenging every action taken by every official whose claim to office could be open to question and seeks to protect the public by insuring the orderly functioning of the government despite technical defects in title to office.”
Both teams will present their oral arguments on Thursday in the Supreme Court of Guam. The Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision before the January 3rd inauguration. If they decide in favor of Gutierrez/Aguon it will postpone the Calvo/Tenorio inauguration.