BREAKING: Third Circuit reverses Hillman decision in Lewis case; orders LD 8 Senate candidate's name on ballot; GOP to appeal
By Max Pizarro | September 13th, 2011 - 3:23pm
| More

In his now-you-see-him, now-you-don't quest to be a candidate, nine-time Olympic Gold Medalist Carl Lewis chalked up a victory today, one not etched in anything more solid than another fleeting headline if the GOP has any say in the matter, which they insist they will. 

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals this afternoon reversed a decision by Judge Noel Hillman barring 8th District senate hopeful Lewis from the general election ballot, which Republicans plan to appeal.

"The judgment of the District Court, entered Sept. 7, 2011, is hereby reversed," wrote Circuit Judge Thomas L. Ambro in a 2-1 decision by the three-judge panel.

"The District Court, inter alia, incorrectly applied a rational basis standard of review of this as-applied challenge, rather than the stricter compelling state interest standard."

Ambro said the state failed to demonstrate a "compelling state interest in the application of this durational residency requirement to this particular candidate."

The decision by the appellate court represented a victory by the Lewis campaign, which a week ago suffered Hillman's decision upholding a ruling by Secretary of State Kim Guadagno that Lewis was not eligible to appear on the general election ballot because he did not meet state residency requirements.

Attorney William Tambussi made arguments in court today in Philadelphia on behalf of Lewis, who's running against incumbent state Sen. Dawn Marie Addiego (R-8), Evesham.

"Today’s decision puts this matter with the voters of the Eighth Legislative District where it rightfully belongs," Tambussi said in a statement. "We are pleased that the voters now have a meaningful choice.

Attorney Mark Sheridan, who represented Republicans, including Burlngton County GOP Chairman Bill Layton, who in his initial suit questioned Lewis's New Jersey residency status, said the case isn't over.

"We will appeal," Sheridan told PolitickerNJ.com.

GOP strategist Chris Russell later contributed a statement on behalf of the Addiego campaign.

"This was a miscarriage of justice and another example of why Americans are losing faith in government institutions that are supposed to treat everyone equally," Russell said. "By allowing Mr. Lewis on the ballot, two of the three appellate judges today, ignored longstanding legal precedent and tossed aside New Jersey's Constitution.  Their decision effectively eliminates residency requirements to run for office in order to allow a wealthy, celebrity on the ballot.  Mr. Lewis admitted that he never paid income taxes in New Jersey and was not even registered to vote in New Jersey on the day he announced his candidacy; couple that with the fact that he recently voted in California and it’s clear that Mr. Lewis does meet the constitutional residency requirement to run for State Senate in New Jersey.  That said, we are heartened that the Chief Judge of the 3rd Circuit Court dissented from the decision of his colleagues and agreed with us, and the lower courts, that Mr. Lewis should not be on the ballot.  We expect to appeal and are considering our legal options."  

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 23, 2014

Colorado politicians invite Christie to experience 'Rocky Mountain High'Colorado politicians slapped back at Gov. Chris Christie after he questioned their Rocky Mountain quality of life under the rule of legalized marijuana.“Whether it’s hiking season or snow season, we invite Gov. Christie to experience Colorado’s quality of life anytime,"  Sen....

Op-Ed

How the City of Paterson became a city in crisis

By HAYTHAM YOUNES As the May 13th election for Paterson officials nears, I've noticed a lot of candidates running using slogans and empty promises as if they weren't around watching Paterson get to where it's at today. I think it's important that... Read More >

Contributors

(4-23-14) Bridgegate Witnesses Not "RATS" if Testimony is Forced -Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson’s decision last week was covered in most newspapers and blogs as an affirmation of the... more »
(Absecon Island, NJ) --With his shocking win in last year's election, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian emerged as one of the most intriguing figures in the New Jersey political... more »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

“The good news of tonight is that these problems are fixable.” - Gov. Chris Christie

- PolitickerNJ.com

Poll

Who would you back for Governor of NJ in this 2017 general election dream match-up?:

Resources

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources