Some will claim that the law only limits participation to “native inhabitants,” essentially those who can trace their ancestors back to Guam before 1950. A well disguised racial test is still a racial test.
Imagine if Jim Crow had decided that only those who could trace their ancestors back to anyone who could show title to land, or a contract of indentured servitude, from before 1860 could vote. No mention of race there, but the effect would be to exclude almost all blacks from voting. Nobody would dare claim such a law was free from racial discrimination.
Even if the law we are challenging in Guam really is nothing more than an ancestral test, it still has racially discriminatory effects. If a racially neutral law has racially discriminatory effects, it violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, period.
Strangely, or perhaps not, the Obama Interior Department is slated to give $250,000 to GovGuam (the name for the territorial government) to promote and advertise the racially discriminatory election. Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Representative Doc Hastings (R-WA), has oversight authority over the Department of the Interior and should put a stop to any promotion of an illegal and racially discriminatory election in Guam by Interior. Representative Michael Simpson (R-Idaho) has budgetary oversight over such racially misguided spending by Interior and should demand that it stop, today.
One cannot help but wonder where the usual suspects are who reflexively attack voting laws they claim are racially discriminatory, such as Voter ID. Where are the noble champions of voting rights now that the victim is a white retired Air Force officer? Where has the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund been now that the discriminated U.S. citizens are Korean and Filipino?
In the meantime, I along with the Center for Individual Rights will fight to ensure that all Americans on Guam, and not just a racially select group, are eligible to participate in any election wherever the stars and stripes fly, and wherever the U.S. Constitution applies.