Justice Elena Kagan Extends Guam’s Petition Deadline

In a surprising turn of events, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan has granted Guam an extension to appeal the Ninth Circuit decision, invalidating Guam’s plebiscite law as racially discriminatory.  Guam’s attorney Michael Phillips will now have until December 26 to file a petition.

On November 6, Guam’s governor, Lou Leon Guerrero, announced that the application for an extension was denied.  According to Phillips, Guam submitted its application both by e-mail and traditional mail.  The e-mail application was rejected, and Governor Guerrero announced the rejection in a press-release.  Meanwhile, the mailed-in application had been received and was later granted.

Phillips applied for an extension ten days after the deadline to file an application had passed.  Accordingly, Guam was obligated to show “extraordinary circumstances” justifying its late request.  Phillips himself had previously expressed doubts about being able to meet this standard.