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Thursday, November 12, 2015
Full Text: Veterans Sue for Voting Rights in US Territories
By Selected News Articles @ 12:52 AM :: 5024 Views :: First Amendment, Military

Group files voting rights lawsuit

Guam PDN: While serving in the U.S. Army, Yona resident Luis Segovia spent an 18-month tour in Iraq, helping provide security during the country’s 2005 elections.

He also served a 12-month tour in Afghanistan with the Illinois National Guard and another 10-month tour in Afghanistan with the Guam National Guard.

Although collectively serving his country in both conflict areas for more than three years, Segovia, a former resident of Illinois and current staff sergeant for the Guam National Guard, can’t vote in presidential elections as a resident of Guam….

Weare, who is from Guam, had recently represented plaintiffs from American Samoa in a similar case, but the panel of judges with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., ruled in June that U.S. citizenship by birth in territories is not a “fundamental right.”

The judges in the American Samoa case referenced the controversial Insular Cases that established the relationship between the U.S. territories and federal government, according to news files.

They wrote that the Constitution doesn’t guarantee birthright citizenship as a “fundamental right,” but rather citizenship is extended to territories through Congressional legislation.

read … Voting Rights

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1. This action concerns the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, Pub L. No. 99-410, codified as amended at 52 U.S.C. §§ 20301 to 20311 (“UOCAVA”), and the Illinois statute implementing its requirements, known as the Illinois Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (“MOVE”) law,  see  10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/20-1 et seq.

2. Pursuant to these statutes, former Illinois residents are allowed to continue voting in Illinois by absentee ballot for President and for voting representation in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives if they reside in the Northern Mariana Islands (“NMI”),  American Samoa, or in a foreign country, but not if they reside in Guam, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

3. This disparate treatment violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal  protection….

read … Complaint

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June, 2015: Full Text: Court Dismisses American Samoa Suit for US Citizenship


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