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The rights of those who live in the states can differ from the rights held by residents in the territories.
That’s one argument Guam’s attorney general’s office is making in a case challenging the island’s long-awaited political status vote.
Guam resident Arnold Davis in 2011 challenged the island’s pending plebiscite after he wasn’t allowed to register for it. The plebiscite is a non-binding vote, intended to measure the preferred political status of Guam.
Davis’ legal counsel said the plebiscite violates his fundamental right to vote.
In a response filed Dec. 4, the AG states “even if the right to vote is fundamental in the several states, it does not follow that it is necessarily so in the territories.”
What qualifies as a “fundamental right” for those living in the territories has always been “the subject of enormous controversy in this country,” the office states in its court filing.
In October, the AG’s office said the case shouldn’t have to go to trial and has asked the federal court to rule in favor of the Guam government on the matter.
The plebiscite hasn’t been scheduled, but Gov. Eddie Calvo wants it to happen sometime in 2017, according to his office.