Marianas High School vice principal John H. Davis Jr. is suing the Commonwealth Election Commission to stop it 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 issue.
Davis, through counsel Jeanne H. Rayphand, also asked the U.S. District Court for the NMI yesterday to declare that Article 18 Section 5(c) of the CNMI Constitution violates the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and is invalid, null, and void. Article 12 limits landownership in the CNMI only to those of Northern Marianas descent. It is up for voters’ review later this year.
Article 18 Section 5(c) states that “in the case of a proposed amendment to Article 12.the word ‘voters’.shall be limited to eligible voters under Article 7 who are also persons of Northern Marianas descent as described in Article 12 Section 4, and the term ‘votes cast’ as used in subsection 5(b) shall mean the votes cast by such voters.”
Davis also named as co-defendants CEC chair Frances M. Sablan, CEC executive director Robert A. Guerrero, Gov. Benigno R. Fitial, House Speaker Eliceo D. Cabrera, and Senate President Paul A. Manglona.
David also asked the court to declare Public Law 17-40 as invalid, null, and void as it violates the U.S. Constitution’s 14th and 15th Amendments. P.L. 17-40, which was signed into law in April 2001, requires that only persons of NMI descent or Chamorro and Carolinian descent can vote on any changes affecting Article 12.
Full Article: Saipan Tribune.