Did you know?

The Patriot Post is funded 100% by its readers, avoiding the influence advertisers and special interest groups impose on other publications. Help us stay front and center in the fight for Liberty and support the 2020 Year-End Campaign.

Hans von Spakovsky / Dec. 6, 2017

Guam Has a Racist Voting Law

It took Jeff Sessions to make the department fulfill its duty. It looks like Arnold Davis is finally getting some justice.

It took Jeff Sessions to make the department fulfill its duty.

It looks like Arnold Davis is finally getting some justice. I have written numerous updates about the voting-rights lawsuit that Davis, a retired Air Force officer, filed back in 2011 against the territory of Guam. Guam refused to allow Davis, a longtime resident of Guam, to register to vote for a plebiscite on the future of the territory because he is white and not Chamorro, the racial designation given to the natives who originally inhabited Guam.

Through eight long years of litigation, Davis has been represented by J. Christian Adams and the Center for Individual Rights. The Eric Holder/Loretta Lynch Justice Department refused to represent Davis or otherwise assist with the lawsuit. Holder even made a ceremonial visit to Guam in 2012, one in which he voiced no criticism whatsoever of the territorial government, or even of the racist attacks that Guam’s community leaders and government officials have launched against Davis.

Finally, in March of this year, a federal judge in Guam ruled in favor of Davis and issued a permanent injunction against the territory, barring it from enforcing its discriminatory registration law. Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood held that limiting voter registration to so-called Native Inhabitants of the island violated both the 14th and 15th Amendments. The Constitution does not allow the government “to exclude otherwise qualified voters in participating in an election where public issues are decided simply because those otherwise qualified voters do not have the correct ancestry or bloodline."

 After Guam lost in March, it appealed the decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. On Nov. 28, after eight years of studied indifference, the U.S. Justice Department under Attorney General Jeff Sessions finally did the right thing: It filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit supporting Arnold Davis.

DOJ’s brief, which was filed by John Gore, the acting assistant attorney general of the Civil Rights Division, argues that "Guam’s plebiscite law intentionally discriminates based on race.” It directly violates Supreme Court precedent set in Rice v. Cayetano, a 2000 decision in which the Court threw out a similar Hawaii law. DOJ points out that the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments both apply to Guam; the fact that it is a territory does not deprive its residents of those constitutional protections. The brief asks the Ninth Circuit to uphold the district court’s decision.

This follows on a lawsuit filed in September by the Civil Rights Division against the government of Guam and its Chamorro Land Trust Commission for violations of the Fair Housing Act in discriminating against non-Chamorros. The government and its land trust owns about 15 percent of the land on the island. It leases one-acre residential tracts at a cost of $1 per year for 99 years and also provides below-market-rate loans and numerous housing-related benefits. However, not all residents of the island are eligible — only Chamorros. So if Arnold Davis wanted such a lease, he would not be eligible for one, just as Guam told him he couldn’t vote.

As the saying goes in Washington, “personnel is policy,” and that is certainly true in both of these cases. The Obama administration refused to enforce federal law barring racial discrimination in voting, housing, employment, and education on a race-neutral basis. The Holder/Lynch Justice Department didn’t care if you were being discriminated against unless you were a member of one of its favored groups, a distinction that does not exist in our anti-discrimination laws. The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, as well as federal statutes such as the Voting Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act, protect all Americans from racial discrimination.

It took a Jeff Sessions Justice Department to finally recognize that.


Republished from The Heritage Foundation.

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2020 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.