It’s a punch in the gut for the Justices to leave in place a ruling that says I am not equal to other Americans simply because I was born in a U.S. territory. I was born on U.S. soil, have a U.S. passport, and pay my taxes like everyone else. But because of a discriminatory federal law, I am not recognized as a U.S. citizen. As a result, I can’t even vote in local elections, much less for President. This is un-American and cannot be squared with America’s democratic and constitutional principles.
I had hoped to hear today that I would have my day before the U.S. Supreme Court. But instead the justices continue to avoid answering basic questions about what rights people from U.S. territories can expect. People from the territories deserve better from this court and better from this nation.
John Fitisemanu (Special to the Saipan Tribune)
John Fitisemanu is the lead plaintiff in Fitisemanu v. United States and now lives in Utah.