Ninth Circuit Orders Guam Voting Case Forward

A three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reinstated CIR client Arnold Davis’ lawsuit challenging race-based voting restrictions on a plebiscite concerning Guam’s future political status.  The decision reverses District Judge Tydingco-Gatewood’s decision in early 2013 dismissing the lawsuit on standing and ripeness grounds.  Judge Tydingco-Gatewood ruled that since the plebiscite might not occur, Davis could not yet to be said to have suffered discrimination.  By a 2-1 vote, the panel reversed, concluding that Davis suffered a legal injury when Guam denied him the right to register to vote, never mind whether the plebiscite ever comes to pass.  The case now returns to the District Court to determine whether Guam’s racial restriction violates federal law.