Attorney Mike Phillips, on behalf of the governor's office, has submitted a request for an extension of the deadline to petition to appeal – before the U.S. Supreme Court – an appellate court decision that struck down Guam’s plebiscite law for native inhabitants of the island.
Phillips has previously acknowledged the government of Guam would need to provide a reason that falls under “extraordinary circumstances” to ask the Supreme Court for an extension of time to file a petition to appeal.
GovGuam sought a 60-day deadline extension through Justice Elena Kagan’s office in a filing dated Oct. 28. The deadline to petition to appeal passed Monday. The deadline to file a petition for a deadline extension passed more than a week ago.
Phillips stated, in part, the governor received different opinions on whether to pursue the case before the high court.
“By the time the governor was able to ask Attorney Phillips to take this case, the 10-day deadline preceding the date to file such a petition had passed. Neither the governor nor attorney Phillips were aware of the past deadline to request an extension at the time the governor finalized her decision and asked Attorney Phillips to represent Guam," Phillips' filing on behalf of GovGuam states.
The request for an extended deadline still mentions then-Attorney General Leonardo Rapadas’ name. The case started when Rapadas was attorney general.
Current Attorney General Leevin Camacho has cautioned Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero there are risks involved with GovGuam continuing to argue for holding a plebiscite exclusive to native inhabitants of Guam. The 9th Circuit Appeals Court has stated voting rights based on race violate the voting rights in the U.S. Constitution.