Saturday, May 18, 2024


By Tim Rohr

On the same day, and unbeknownst to me, a post was published on the SCOTUS Blog which addresses the same issue (declaratory judgments by the Supreme Court of Guam) as I did in my most recent column in the Guam Daily Post: "Ghosts that slay." 

Under "Petitions of the Week," the following was posted:

Guam governor, attorney general face off over decades-old abortion ban

The title isn't quite right as the issue isn't actually the "decades-old abortion ban" (aka "Belle's Law"), but whether or not the Supreme Court of Guam not only committed error in taking on the Governor's request for a declaratory judgment regarding the validity of "Belle's Law," but whether:

"It committed structural errors that redefine the Supreme Court of Guam’s power and give that court virtually unlimited authority to make broad declarations about the other branches of government and about any federal or local law." (See Moylan v Guerrero at pg. 30)

I personally see the U.S. Supreme Court taking this case (accepting a writ of certiorari), given that the matter involves such an egregious affront to the constitutional guarantee of "separation of powers," and as such, goes well beyond a dispute over an old local abortion law.

In his amicus brief and at oral argument before the Supreme Court of Guam on July 25, 2023, Bob Klitzkie set out this very conflict. However, the Court functionally blew Klitzkie's argument off and proceeded to trample down the road to Kritarchy (rule by judges). 

Now, thanks to Attorney General Moylan, that road has led to the Supreme Court of the United States. (Read the full Petition here.)

Beyond invalidating the Supreme Court of Guam's "declaratory judgment" supporting Governor Lou Leon Guerrero's march to "abortions for all" (should SCOTUS take the case and rule in Moylan's favor), there is the larger matter and consequence of what this means for the credibility of our highest court in the full glare of a national slap down. 

BTW, since AG Moylan filed this Petition, the governor (the respondent) has filed extension after extension. 

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