Fifth Circuit considers whether DeLay must stay on Texas ballot

[JURIST] Lawyers for the Texas Republican Party [party website] argued before the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] Monday that the GOP should be allowed to remove former US House Majority Leader Tom DeLay [JURIST news archive] from the November ballot because he no longer lives in Texas. The party is appealing a decision [text, PDF; Dallas Morning News report] by US District Judge Sam Sparks [official profile] earlier this month that DeLay must stay on the ballot. The Texas Democratic Party [party website] contends that, under a provision of the Texas Election Code [text, PDF] governing the withdrawal and ineligibility of candidates, DeLay remains eligible because it's possible he will still be a Texas "inhabitant" on Election Day, as required by Article I, Section 2, of the US Constitution [text].

During oral arguments Monday, a Fifth Circuit panel suggested that DeLay's eligibility turns on whether there is "conclusive" evidence that he has moved to Virginia following his indictment on money-laundering charges and resignation from Congress [JURIST reports]. Two of the judges said Delay could move back to Texas before the election. Delay is now licensed to drive and registered to vote in Virginia and has said he plans to reside there indefinitely, although his wife continues to live in their home outside Houston. AP has more. The Houston Chronicle has local coverage.

 

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