U.S. Territories

Articles about voting issues in the U.S. Territories.

U.S. Territories: US Supreme Court won’t review voting rights lawsuit | Guam Daily Post

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied review of a lawsuit that sought to expand voting rights to Americans in U.S. territories, including Guam. The Supreme Court met privately in conference on Friday, Guam time, to weigh whether it would review the case. The lead plaintiff, Luis Segovia, is a Guam resident and military veteran who served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. Segovia appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court after the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided that ruling in favor of the Segovia plaintiffs would create so-called “super citizens.”

Full Article: US Supreme Court won't review voting rights lawsuit | Guam News | postguam.com.

U.S. Territories: 2 panels to weigh arguments vs disenfranchisement in US territories | Saipan Tribune

Just weeks after the one-year anniversary of Hurricanes Maria and Irma hitting Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the issue of disenfranchisement in U.S. territories will be considered by both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Organization of American States Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the same day. “The opportunity to have either the Supreme Court or the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights take up the issue of voting rights in U.S. territories is momentous in its own right. But to have both do it on the same day is something truly special,” said Neil Weare, president and founder of Equally American, a non-profit organization that advocates for equality and civil rights for the nearly 4 million Americans who live in U.S. territories. This comes as the U.S. Senate considers whether to confirm President Trump’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

Full Article: 2 panels to weigh arguments vs disenfranchisement in US territories - Saipan News, Headlines, Events, Ads | Saipan Tribune.

U.S. Territories: Supreme Court to consider review of voter rights in U.S. territories | Virgin Islands Daily News

The U.S. Supreme Court will meet privately in conference Friday to consider whether to grant review of Segovia v. United States, a voting rights lawsuit that seeks to expand voting rights in the U.S. territories. Neil Weare, president and founder of Equally American, a nonprofit that advocates for equality and civil rights for Americans living in the territories, said in a Monday press release that the news is “momentous.” “The federal government’s response to hurricanes Maria and Irma has demonstrated just how important it is that Americans living in U.S. territories enjoy the same right to vote as their fellow citizens,” said Weare in the press release. “We hope the Supreme Court will take the opportunity to consider whether voting rights can be arbitrarily protected or denied based on where one happens to live outside the 50 states.”

Full Article: Supreme Court to consider review of voter rights in U.S. territories | News | virginislandsdailynews.com.

U.S. Territories: U.S. solicitor general: Voting case hinges on state, not federal law | Virgin Islands Daily News

The federal government has rejected any responsibility for a law preventing some territorial residents from voting absentee in federal elections, court documents show. U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco filed a response Wednesday in the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that responsibility for potential harm for territorial residents who wish to vote absentee in other states where they have resided lies instead with an Illinois law. Francisco made the argument in response to a group of residents of the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam who claim they were denied their constitutional right to vote absentee in Illinois because of the tenets of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. The case, Segovia v. The United States, seeks a declared right to vote absentee for residents of the territories.

Full Article: U.S. solicitor general: Voting case hinges on state, not federal law | News | virginislandsdailynews.com.

U.S. Territories: Presidential voting rights for veterans on Guam, territories sought | Pacific Daily News

Gov. Eddie Calvo seeks President Donald Trump’s support for veterans on Guam and other territories by granting them the right to vote for president. American citizens on Guam, the CNMI, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands are not allowed to vote for the American president. The governor said it’s a “tragic irony” that so many from Guam laid down their lives and thousands more fought and bled on foreign shores in the service of America’s most cherished ideal of defending democracy, yet they cannot vote for their commander-in-chief, the American president. “American veterans residing in Guam and other U.S. territories have served tirelessly for generations now, advocating with force of arms to protect our rights. Whose voices are raised for their rights?” Calvo said in an Aug. 8 letter to Trump. Copies of the letter were also addressed to members of Trump’s administration and members of Congress.

Full Article: Presidential voting rights for veterans on Guam, territories sought.

U.S. Territories: Territories’ voting rights an ‘uphill battle’ | Guam Daily Post

Chief Judge Gustavo Gelpí of the District Court of Puerto Rico spoke with Guam attorneys and law students at the Guam Museum on Monday morning, discussing the nebulous relationship between United States territories and the Constitution, just days before the nation celebrates its 242nd birthday. While Gelpí covered a number of constitutional questions, he repeated several times that territories remain in a “constitutionally scary” situation, in which the territories remain at the mercy of Congress. “What Congress giveth, Congress can taketh away,” he said.

Full Article: US territories' voting rights an 'uphill battle' | Guam News | postguam.com.

U.S. Territories: Puerto Rico, others, support territorial voting rights case | Pacific Daily News

Several briefs recently were filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, in support of a case related to the voting rights of residents of Guam and other U.S. territories. “Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands Bar Association, and leading voting rights scholars have each filed amicus briefs in support of Supreme Court review in Segovia v. United States,” said former Guam resident Neal Weare, who represents plaintiffs in the case. The case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in October is expected to announce the cases it will hear. “We are thrilled with the support we have received for the idea that where you live should not impact your right to vote,” said Weare, who is the president of Equally American, a non-profit organization that advocates for equality and civil rights for the millions of Americans who live in U.S. territories. “Most Supreme Court petitions do not receive support from a single amicus brief, so it says a lot that three briefs have been filed in support of Supreme Court review here.”

Full Article: Puerto Rico, others, support territorial voting rights case.

U.S. Territories: Appeal in voting rights case gets boost | Saipan Tribune

A petition to the U.S. Supreme Court seeking expanded voting rights in U.S. territories has received an important boost. Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands Bar Association, and leading voting rights scholars have each filed amicus briefs in support of Supreme Court review in Segovia v. United States. Last month, Luis Segovia, a veteran living in Guam, along with other former state residents living in Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, petitioned the Supreme Court to answer whether it is constitutional to deny absentee voting rights in these territories while allowing citizens living in other U.S. territories or even a foreign country to continue being able to vote for President and voting representation in Congress.

Full Article: Appeal in voting rights case gets boost - Saipan News, Headlines, Events, Ads | Saipan Tribune.

U.S. Territories: Supreme Court Appeal In Territorial Voting Rights Case Gets Boost | Virgin Islands Consortium

A petition to the U.S. Supreme Court seeking expanded voting rights in U.S. territories has received an important boost, according to a release issued by Equally American, a nonprofit organization that advocates for equality and civil rights for the nearly 4 million Americans who live in U.S. territories. Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands Bar Association, and leading voting rights scholars have each filed amicus briefs in support of Supreme Court review in Segovia v. United States. Last month, Luis Segovia, a proud veteran living in Guam, along with other former state residents living in Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, petitioned the Supreme Court to answer whether it is constitutional to deny absentee voting rights in these territories while allowing citizens living in other U.S. territories or even a foreign country to continue being able to vote for President and voting representation in Congress.

Full Article: Supreme Court Appeal In Territorial Voting Rights Case Gets Boost ‹.

U.S. Territories: Territorial voting rights case appealed to U.S. Supreme Court | Pacific Daily News

A federal lawsuit involving the inability of residents of Guam and other U.S. territories to vote for president has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court typically hears about 80 cases out of the thousands of petitions it receives each year. It announces its docket in early October.  In November 2015, six U.S. citizens, who all are former Illinois residents now living in Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, filed a lawsuit in Illinois’ northern district court with the nonprofit groups Iraq, Afghanistan and Persian Gulf Veterans of the Pacific and the League of Women Voters of the Virgin Islands. The group argued that the laws allowing them to vote in particular areas, but not certain U.S. territories, including Guam, are a violation of their equal protection rights, according to court documents.

Full Article: Territorial voting rights case appealed to U.S. Supreme Court.

U.S. Territories: Territorial voting rights case appealed to U.S. Supreme Court | Pacific Daily News

A federal lawsuit involving the inability of residents of Guam and other U.S. territories to vote for president has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court typically hears about 0 cases out of the thousands of petitions it receives each year. It announces its docket in early October, In November 2015, six U.S. citizens, who all are former Illinois residents now living in Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, filed a lawsuit in Illinois’ northern district court with the nonprofit groups Iraq, Afghanistan and Persian Gulf Veterans of the Pacific and the League of Women Voters of the Virgin Islands.

Full Article: Territorial voting rights case appealed to U.S. Supreme Court.

U.S. Territories: Territorial Leaders Argue Denial Of Voting Rights Violates International Law | The Virgin Islands Consortium

Leaders from Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands are now arguing that U.S. citizens living U.S. territory being denied the right to vote for president of the United States is not just morally wrong, it is a violation of international law, according to a release issued by Equally American, formerly We the People, a nonprofit that advocates for equal rights and representation in U.S. territories. Nearly 4 million citizens living in U.S. territories – a population greater than 21 states and larger than the five smallest states combined – are denied the right to vote for President and voting representation in Congress simply because of where they happen to live. This includes more than 100,000 veterans and active duty service members living in U.S. territories. At the same time, decisions made by the federal government impacting residents of U.S. territories can literally mean life or death, a fact thrown in stark relief by the six month anniversary of Hurricanes Maria and Irma hitting Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Full Article: Territorial Leaders Argue Denial Of Voting Rights Violates International Law ‹.

U.S. Territories: 7th Circuit rules vs expanding territorial voting rights | Saipan Tribune

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled Saturday against expanding territorial voting rights in Segovia v. United States. The case presented an equal protection challenge by plaintiffs in Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands who would be able to absentee vote for President and voting representation in Congress if they lived in other U.S. territories or a foreign country, but are denied such rights. The appeals court panel concluded that plaintiffs lacked legal standing to challenge federal overseas voting laws, a potentially far-reaching conclusion that has previously been rejected by other courts.

Full Article: 7th Circuit rules vs expanding territorial voting rights - Saipan News, Headlines, Events, Ads | Saipan Tribune.

U.S. Territories: Seventh Circuit Rejects Bid to Extend Voting Rights to Territories | Courthouse News

Residents of Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have no right to vote absentee in their former state of residence, the Seventh Circuit ruled Thursday, even though residents of the Northern Mariana Islands and some in American Samoa are granted that privilege. “Absent a constitutional amendment, only residents of the 50 states have the right to vote in federal elections,” U.S. Circuit Judge Daniel Manion wrote for a three-judge panel. “The plaintiffs have no special right simply because they used to live in a state.” American astronauts in space have a special procedure allowing them to vote, and American citizens living abroad can vote absentee, but 5 million residents of U.S. territories currently cannot vote for president and have no voting representation in Congress.

Full Article: Seventh Circuit Rejects Bid to Extend Voting Rights to Territories.

U.S. Territories: The Trump administration’s attack on territorial voting rights | Slate

Over the last eight months, the Trump administration has launched an assault on voting rights designed to limit access to the ballot. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department has defended voter ID laws and state efforts to purge voters from the rolls, and the president’s voter fraud commission has peddled falsehoods to lay the groundwork for a rollback of voting rights laws. This month, the administration has urged a court to strip voting rights from an entire class of people. This latest gambit involves the rights of United States citizens who relocate from a state to a U.S. territory. Under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), states must allow citizens to vote by absentee ballot in federal elections when they relocate anywhere outside the U.S. The law is meant to be global, even cosmic: Citizens retain their right to vote absentee for federal offices if they move to a foreign country, a research station in Antarctica, or the International Space Station. But bizarrely, the statute does not require states to let citizens vote absentee if they move to four U.S. territories: Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, or American Samoa. It does compel states to let citizens vote absentee if they move to a fifth permanently inhabited territory, the Northern Mariana Islands.

Full Article: The Trump administration’s attack on territorial voting rights..

U.S. Territories: Seventh Circuit hears territorial voting rights challenge | Saipan Tribune

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit heard oral arguments Friday in Segovia v. United States, an equal protection challenge by plaintiffs in Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands who would be able to absentee vote for President and voting representation in Congress if they lived in other U.S. territories or a foreign country, but are denied such rights based solely on their ZIP code. The Appeals Court panel consisted of Judge David Hamilton, Judge Ilana Rovner, and Judge Daniel Manion. Oral argument will be posted online. Earlier this week, the Trump Department of Justice filed a last-minute letter with the court arguing that the remedy to any equal protection violation should be to strip away statutorily provided voting rights that are already guaranteed to residents of certain territories.

Full Article: Seventh Circuit hears territorial voting rights challenge - Saipan News, Headlines, Events, Ads | Saipan Tribune.

U.S. Territories: Residents of U.S. Territories Ask Court to Expand Voting Rights | Courthouse News

The Seventh Circuit heard oral arguments Friday in a case centered on whether residents of Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands should be allowed to vote absentee in their former state of residence. American astronauts in space have a special procedure allowing them to vote, and American citizens living abroad can vote absentee, but five million residents of U.S. territories currently cannot vote for president and have no voting representation in Congress. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of this system, finding that territory residents have no protected right to vote because the territories are “not a part” of the U.S. However, by some strange quirk, federal law requires all states to allow former residents currently living in the Northern Mariana Islands to vote via absentee ballot. Illinois extends this right to former residents living in American Samoa. But former residents residing in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, or Puerto Rico are not allowed to vote absentee.

Full Article: Residents of U.S. Territories Ask Court to Expand Voting Rights.

U.S. Territories: Administration Argues For Rollback Of Voting Rights In U.S. Territories | Virgin Islands Consotium

On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago will consider an equal protection challenge by plaintiffs in Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, who would be able to absentee vote for president and voting representation in Congress, if they lived in other U.S. territories or a foreign country, but are denied such rights based solely on their ZIP code, according to ‘We The People Project’, a non-profit that advocates for equal rights and representation in U.S. territories. According to a release issued by the nonprofit on Wednesday, on Monday, the Trump Administration unexpectedly filed a last-minute letter with the court arguing for the first time that if an equal protection violation is found, the remedy should be to strip away statutorily provided absentee voting rights that are already provided to residents of certain territories. As plaintiffs explained in a filing yesterday, the Trump Administration’s view that voting rights should be “leveled down” is unprecedented – for good reason courts are hesitant to strip voting rights provided by law. 

Full Article: Trump Administration Argues For Rollback Of Voting Rights In U.S. Territories ‹.

U.S. Territories: Trump administration pushes for fewer voting rights for territories | Pacific Daily News

The Trump administration is arguing in federal court that, if one U.S. territory doesn’t have the same rights as the others, then all of them should be stripped of those rights, according to a group pursuing lawsuits in federal court related to territorial rights. According to Neil Weare, a former Guam resident, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago on Friday will consider an equal protection challenge by plaintiffs in Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Weare is president and founder of We the People Project, a non-profit that advocates for equal rights and representation in U.S. territories. According to Weare, the plaintiffs would be able to cast absentee ballots for president and voting representation in Congress if they lived in other U.S. territories or a foreign country, but are denied those rights based solely on their ZIP code.

Full Article: Trump administration pushes for fewer voting rights for territories.

U.S. Territories: National GOP leaders’ push for equal US citizenship is backed | Saipan Tribune

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and several members of the Legislature support the Republican Party’s push for “equal U.S. citizenship” to be extended to the three U.S. territories. Sponsored by U.S. Virgin Islands’ national committeeman Jevon Williams, the Republic National Committee last Friday adopted a resolution titled “Affirming Equal Citizenship for All Americans,” which is set to be submitted to U.S. President Donald J. Trump, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The resolution says U.S. citizens residing in the “territories of Guam, NMI, and the Virgin Islands,” regardless of their sex, race, color, ethnicity, religion or creed, are “entitled to the full of enjoyment of their citizenship.” Americans in U.S. territories are U.S. citizens but cannot vote for the U.S. President, nor do they have full representation in Congress.

Full Article: National GOP leaders’ push for equal US citizenship is backed - Saipan News, Headlines, Events, Ads | Saipan Tribune.