My third day in Guam was spent giving three speeches to lawyers and judges on the island. It was an extremely interesting exchange with the bar here. I am speaking at the conference with Judge Paul Jeffrey Watford of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Watford was on the short list for the Supreme Court for President Obama and was viewed as a leading contender for the Court for Hillary Clinton if she were elected. This is a fascinating bar with some of the truly nicest people I have ever met in my life. This is a vibrant bar with unique elements for lawyers in dealing with cases on the various islands. There is a deep civility and mutual respect that permeates the place. Indeed, what really comes through for visitors is the sheer sense of joy that everyone seems to have in working and living in this paradise.
Today was a conference day so I am sharing some of the pictures taken on the hikes by Karen Quitlong, Law Clerk to Chief Judge Frances Marie Tydingco-Gatewood. This is a picture of all of us cooling off on one of the amazing waterfalls in the jungle. With us in this picture is Senator and attorney Therese Terlaje and our extraordinary guide. What is amazing is that after one of our more grueling hikes, Therese went straight to a hearing for veterans. It is not uncommon for lawyers and legislators to pop off for some scuba or hiking in the midst of their days. There remains a profound connection of everyone here to the island and a continual level of delight in everything that the island offers.
Last night, the Watford and I joined judges and lawyers for an incredible Chamorro dinner. I sat next to one of the survivors from World War II and one of the first lawyers on the island. This year’s recipient of the Cristobal C. Duenas Excellence Award was Joaquin C. Arriola. In his nineties, Arriola is still practicing law. He was one of the most radiant and engaging people I have ever had the honor to meet. A true icon of his island. This morning I am off to catch an early flight over the Saipan, one of the most beautiful islands and the location of some of the most brutal fighting of World War II.