The question before a panel of U.S. appeals court judges: Should non-native residents of Guam have a say in the territory’s future relationship with the United States? Three judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals were at the University of Hawaii’s law school Wednesday to listen to arguments in an appeal of a federal judge’s 2017 ruling that says limiting the vote to those who are considered native inhabitants of the island is unconstitutional. Voters would have three choices: independence, statehood and free association with the United States similar to island states that allow the U.S. exclusive military access to their land and waters while their citizens have the right to live and work in the U.S.
Arnold Davis, a white, non-Chamorro resident of Guam, sued in 2011 after his application to participate in the vote was denied.
Last year’s ruling concluded that even though Guam has a long history of colonization and its people have a right to determine their political status with the United States, it’s unconstitutional to exclude voters simply because they “do not have the correct ancestry or bloodline.”
Full Article: Guam pushes for native-only vote on US relationship.