Insular Cases: «Odious and wrong». Voices from the Territories.

Insular cases articules published in Microjuris al Día (In Spanish)

Microjuris, Equally American and Latino Justice present:
Insular Cases: «Odious and wrong». Voices from the Territories
Wednesday, October 5th, 2022
7:00 p.m. ET
@ Facebook Live

A discussion with: 

American Samoa –  Charles Ala’ilima, co-counsel Fitisemanu v. United States

Charles Ala’ilima is a prominent American Samoan attorney who has practiced law in the territory for forty-three years. His public service includes serving as Assistant Attorney General, District Court Judge, the first Samoan Acting Associate Justice on the High Court of American Samoa, President of the American Samoan Bar Association, and representative to the American Bar Association. His private practice focuses on land and title disputes, corporate matters, and general litigation. He serves as co-counsel in Fitisemanu v. United States.

Northern Mariana Islands – Rep. Sheila Babauta, Northern Marianas Commonwealth Legislature

The Hon. Sheila Babauta was born and raised on the island of Saipan and currently serves in the Northern Mariana Islands House of Representatives. A leader in protecting the land and culture of her people, Representative Babauta chairs the Natural and Cultural Resources Committee and is the chair of the nonprofit Friends of the Marianas Trench. In 2021, she introduced former President Barack Obama at the global COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland. She joined an amicus brief of officials from U.S. territories in support of Fitisemanu v. United States.

GuamNeil Weare, President and Founder of Equally American

Neil Weare was raised in Guam and is the President and Founder of Equally American, which advocates for equality and civil rights in U.S. territories.  He is the co-author of the forthcoming casebook Law of U.S. Territories, which he has taught at Yale and Columbia Law Schools. He is co-counsel in Fitisemanu v. United States, which asks the Supreme Court to overrule the Insular Cases and recognize a constitutional right to U.S. citizenship for those born in U.S. territories.

Puerto Rico – Lía Fiol-Matta, Senior Counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF

Lía Fiol-Matta is Senior Counsel for LatinoJustice PRLDEF. She has contributed to amicus briefs related to Puerto Rico in cases before the United States Supreme Court (United States v. José Vaello-Madero) and the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (Centro de Periodismo Investigativo v. Fiscal Oversight and Management Board). She also delivered the keynote address in a symposium held earlier this year by the Columbia Human Rights Law Review on the “Future of the Insular Cases.” 

U.S. Virgin Islands – Brian Modeste, Director, Insular Affairs, House Natural Resources Committee

Brian Modeste hails from the U.S. Virgin Islands and has more than 30 years of public service working on territorial issues in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is currently the Director of Insular Affairs for the House Natural Resources Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Raúl Grijalva and is the committee of jurisdiction for U.S. territories. Last year the Committee held the first-ever congressional hearing focused exclusively on the Insular Cases as it considered H.Res. 279, a House Resolution condemning the Insular Cases.

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