Carl Lewis Back On Ballot
September 14, 2011 by staff
Carl Lewis Back On Ballot, The nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis was put back on the ballot in the state Senate election by a federal appeals court on Tuesday, possibly the last word on whether the political celebrity newcomer to fulfill a requirement residence of four years for state senators.
A third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ordered Lewis, a Democrat, back in the vote on a 2-1 decision issued less than five hours after hearing arguments. The court said that a full opinion will be introduced later.
But after months of legal niceties about exactly when Lewis became a resident of New Jersey, the court seemed to indicate that the issue was not the center of the case. Instead, the court said that “the State has not demonstrated a compelling state interest” to leave Lewis out of the polls.
The decision indicates that the majority agreed with Lewis’s lawyer, who said the reasons for the residency requirement is to ensure that the candidate knows the local issues and voters know the candidate. The lawyer, William Tambussi, said there was a problem in the case of Lewis, who grew up in New Jersey.
The attorney Mark Sheridan, representing Burlington County Republicans, trying to keep Lewis out of the polls, said Tuesday that his client will appeal the final decision.
Lewis is running as a Democrat in a Republican district reliably, challenging Sen. Dawn Addiego.
Tuesday night, Republican Gov. Chris Christie Lewis wished “good luck” in the media Townsquare “Ask the Governor” program on radio station New Jersey 101.5.
“Let’s see what happens,” Christie said, adding that he will campaign for legislative candidates, including Addiego.
It was Christie’s running mate and the lieutenant governor, Kim Guadagno, as Secretary of State, Lewis was ruled in violation of a state constitutional provision that requires state senators to live in the state for four years.
Since then, state courts and U.S. District Court have aligned with it. The third Circuit puts Lewis back on the ballot for the primaries in June and restored it again on Tuesday for the general election of November 8.
In a case that has had intricate legal arguments, the limit of four years was difficult. State officials say a candidate must live in the state for four years before the election _ not the inauguration date. For Lewis, the difference of two months may have made a difference.
The Lewis age 50, grew up in southern New Jersey, went to college in Texas and settled in California. In 1984, she moved from track star to fame when she won four gold medals at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
Over the next 12 years, collected five gold medals at the Olympics. Bought homes in New Jersey in 2005 and 2007 and started coaching track at his alma mater, Willingboro High School in 2007. But, he continued to vote in California in 2009 and registered to vote in New Jersey, this year alone.
Lewis was planning a news conference for Wednesday.
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