A FEDERAL judge is recommending the dismissal of the Arnold “Dave” Davis plebiscite case, saying there’s no “sufficient immediacy” to the complaint.
Magistrate Judge Joaquin V.E. Manibusan in a report and recommendation also said plaintiff Arnold “Dave” Davis’ case has no real standing.
Davis filed the complaint last Nov. 22, claiming he was prevented from registering in the Decolonization Registry which was to be used for a plebiscite on Guam’s political status.
The following month, a motion was filed by Assistant Attorney General Robert Weinberg to dismiss the complaint. Anne Perez Hattori, represented by attorney Julian Aguon, filed a motion for leave to file an amicus curiae brief to also dismiss the case. Davis’ attorneys have filed opposition to the dismissal of the case.
Manibusan’s report noted there is no timeframe for when the plebiscite would be placed on the ballot, pending a decision on whether 70 percent of “native inhabitant voters” were registered.
To date, there are only about 5,310 individuals who registered as native inhabitants of Guam, as per the Guam Election Commission website, out of the nearly 48,000 registered voters on-island.
“Until such a date is set and established by the Guam Election Commission, [Davis'] complaint has set forth no case or controversy. It is quite clear that at the present time, [he] is not being denied the right to vote in the ‘political status plebiscite’ for the simple reason that no such plebiscite date is in sight,” Manibusan states in the document.
The judge also said Davis didn’t file his complaint until more than 11 years after the Decolonization Registry was established.
“More importantly, [Davis] waited more than 11 years since the plebiscite vote was restricted solely to native inhabitants before filing his complaint even though he has been reportedly living in Guam since 1977. In contrast, he has stated that he is a registered voter in Guam and ‘has voted in the past in many Guam general elections,’” Manibusan said.
The judge recommended the case be dismissed citing, among other things, that it “presents no case or controversy since the matter is not ripe for adjudication.”
Manibusan also states Davis has no standing to bring an action to enjoin the Attorney General from enforcing the provisions of the plebiscite law that makes it a misdemeanor to register with the Guam Decolonization Registry if the person were not a native inhabitant of Guam.
“[Davis] has not alleged that he has been charged with any crime in relation to the political status plebiscite nor has he shown that he is subject to a genuine threat of imminent prosecution in relation to the said act,” Manibusan concluded.
The parties involved in the case have 14 days to file objections to the report and recommendation. The due date is June 28.