Guam Submits Motion for Extension to File Appeal

On October 28, Guam’s recently hired attorney, Michael Phillips, requested an extension of time to file a petition appealing a recent Ninth Circuit decision, invalidating Guam’s plebiscite law.  The application, filed with Justice Kagan’s office, comes more than a week after the deadline for extension requests.  Accordingly, Guam’s application must show that there were “extraordinary circumstances” that prevented a timely filing.

The argument goes that the attorneys who had previously represented Guam were “not able… to continue the representation.”  By the time Guam’s governor, Lou Leon Guerrero, was “able” to hire Phillips, the deadline to file an extension had passed.  The application further claims that neither Guerrero nor Phillips were “aware” that the time to file a petition had passed.

Phillips had previously said that he would not file a petition unless he could find the facts that would show “extraordinary circumstances.”  Just what facts show that “extraordinary circumstances” rendered Governor Guerrero unable to hire Phillips until after the filing deadline are not described in the petition.