By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Federal Appeals court ruled on Tuesday that Nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis can run for state senate in New Jersey.

In a 2-to-1 decision issued only hours after oral arguments, the panel ordered that Lewis be on the ballot in the fall for the 8th State Senate District race.

Because it’s just an order and not an opinion, the only hint about the reason for this was that the majority found that “the State had failed to demonstrate a compelling state interest in the application of the durational residency requirement to this particular candidate.”

The residency requirement is four years for State Senate candidates. Lewis bought condos in Medford in 2005 and 2007 and voted in California in 2009, but the ruling may have been saying, look at what residency rules are meant to encourage and stop being so nit-picky.

It was not known if the state would try for a reversal.

Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio.

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