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Judges Put Carl Lewis Back On NJ State Senate Primary Ballot

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(Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis, now running for the state senate in New Jersey. File photo)

(Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis, now running for the state senate in New Jersey. File photo)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A three-judge federal appeals panel has ordered onetime Olympic runner Carl Lewis back onto New Jersey’s primary ballot next month as he tries for a state senate seat representing Burlington County.

The US Third Circuit Court of Appeals wants the Camden federal judge who heard this matter last week to consider the effect on Lewis’ candidacy of a state-mandated, four-year residency requirement, and to decide whether it runs afoul of the US Constitution (see previous story).

Attorney Mark Sheridan represents Burlington County Republicans who brought up the residency challenge in the first place (see related story).

“This decision simply delays the inevitable, when it’s concluded that Carl Lewis does not meet the requirements of the New Jersey state constitution,” Sheridan said today.

Lewis’ attorney, Bill Tambussi, says the appeals panel wants federal judge Judge Noel Hillman in Camden to narrow the scope of the question.

“The remand to Judge Hillman will focus on the law as applied specifically to Carl Lewis, as opposed to  any candidate in general,” Tambussi said.

Meantime, there is a pending appeal before the New Jersey state Supreme Court concerning the methods used by lieutenant governor Kim Guadagno to boot Lewis off the ballot, and a ruling there could, at least in Sheridan’s estimation, remove Lewis once again.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060

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