US Supreme Court rejects Guam filing in Davis case

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The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected Guam’s filing for an extension to submit an appeal in the Dave Davis plebiscite case.

According to Adelup, the governor was informed by Atty. Mike Phillips that the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his filing.

Phillips was handpicked by Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero to lead Guam’s Davis case appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court.

But Phillips later discovered that the deadline to file an appeal had already expired and that he could only file for an extension to submit an appeal under “extraordinary circumstances.”

That, Phillips had said, made it even more difficult for Guam’s appeal to be picked up by the highest court of the land.

In her statement on the rejection of the appeal, the governor said that while the court decision was a disappointment, it was not unexpected.

“All attorneys involved advised of the small likelihood that the Court would entertain the petition as well as the risks involved if the Court had taken up that petition. Despite this fact, pursuing other alternatives to preserve our voice in Guam’s self-determination effort required that all appellate options were exhausted,” Leon Guerrero said.

But the governor said there is still an alternative. And that is to draft legislation, which will attempt to meet the narrow holding of the 9th Circuit Court. This will be forwarded to Senator Therese Terlaje in an effort to continue the momentum that the Commission on Decolonization has generated for the past year.

“This important work will continue until Guam’s native inhabitants have cast their votes for self-determination,” the governor said.

Phillips is hoping they can move quickly on this alternative path. “Delay makes an already challenging process even more difficult,” he said.

Last July, the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Guam and affirmed U.S. District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood’s injunction against the holding of a political status plebiscite for Guam.

The case came about in 2011 as former Guam resident 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.

But Dr. Robert Underwood and activist groups have stated that the U.S. Supreme Court appeal is just one option in overturning the 9th Circuit court ruling.

They said there are other options for Guam to pursue the holding of a self-determination plebiscite.

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