Guam – The Guam Supreme Court set the briefing schedule Wednesday for the Declaratory Judgement sought by the Guam Legislature over the law authorizing a referendum to be placed on the November ballot.
In February, lawmakers passed Bill 215 authorizing the referendum, which Governor Eddie Calvo allowed to lapse into law. However, the Guam Election Commission refused to place the question on the ballot after legal counsel advised it would be a violation of the Organic Act which does not allow the Legislature to delegate it’s law making authority in the form of a referendum.
As a result the Legislature has asked the island’s high court to order the GEC to put it on the ballot.
In Court this morning, the Legislature’s attorney, Julian Aguon sought assurances that a decision would be reached in time for the referendum to be placed on the ballot, if so ordered.
Aguon: “My client has just reminded me that we were just initially worried about GEC’s subsequent ability to comply with the Garr requirements for timing prior to the general election.” Chief Justice Torres: “Based on our understanding of the timeframe that’s required based on your petition actually, you indicated that 45 days before the November election is a sufficient period to get it done then the court is cognizant of the timeframes that’s involved an I don’t think we’ll have any problem with issuing an opinion with enough time for the parties to act appropriately.”
The Court ordered Aguon to file his opening brief by June 11th. The Guam Election Commission must file its response by June 25th. And the Legislature has to reply by July 11th. Opening arguments are slated for August 4.