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Phillips's legacy: The man who lost Guam's quest for Chamorro self determination

Attorney Mike Phillips

By Eric Rosario

Buried in the frenzy that is the historic Coronavirus pandemic is the crippling loss of the Chamorro people's quest for Chamorro self determination, on the eve of the 500th anniversary of Magellan's landing on Guam in 1521. And the man who brought it all to an end in the U.S. Supreme Court? Attorney Mike Phillips.

On May 4, the United States Supreme Court denied Guam's appeal of a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in the landmark case commonly known as the David Case, named so for the plaintiff, Dave Davis.

Mr. Davis sued the government of Guam nine years ago after he tried to register for a plebiscite vote that would determine Guam's political status request to Congress.

Mr. Phillips, who lauds himself as a masterful orator able to argue his points in court, failed to get Guam even one foot in the door. That failure has ended any dream there was of a Chamorro-only vote in that plebiscite, as the federal court system has effectively struck down that law.

Bravo, Mr. Phillips. Bravo.

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