U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona has dismissed the lawsuit filed by John H. Davis Jr., a U.S. citizen who wants to stop the Commonwealth Election Commission from denying U.S. citizens who are not of Northern Marianas descent the right to vote on any issue regarding Article 12 of the CNMI Constitution or on any other issues. In an order issued Thursday, Manglona, however, allowed Davis 14 days to file a second amended complaint redressing deficiencies in his lawsuit. Manglona cited that it is expressly the province of Congress to “enforce.by appropriate legislation” the provisions of the 14th and 15th Amendments.
The judge said that any action for relief from violation of rights guaranteed by those amendments must, therefore, be grounded on federal statutes. For example, Manglona said, 42 U.S.C. Section 1983, originally Section 1 of the Civil Rights Act of 1871, was enacted “for the purpose of ‘enforcing the Provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment.’” Manglona ruled that the statutes on which Davis relies do not provide such a cause of action. “Davis must look elsewhere than these statutes to establish subject matter jurisdiction,” the judge said.
The Commonwealth Election Commission, its officials, and Gov. Benigno R. Fitial, through the Office of the Attorney General, moved to dismiss the lawsuit “for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
Full Article: Saipan Tribune.