A federal judge dashed Carl Lewis' hopes Thursday, ruling that the former Olympic gold medalist was indeed ineligible to run for New Jersey state Senate because he didn't meet the four-year residency requirement.
Lewis was in court fighting Tuesday's decision by New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. He is claiming that the residency requirement violates the U.S. Constitution.
U.S. District Judge Noel Hillman disagreed, pointing to two precedents in which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a residency requirement for state Senate, the Star Ledger reports.
New Jersey Democrats are arguing that Lewis had a home in California because of his work, but should be allowed to run in New Jersey because he also has maintained homes there. Lewis plans to appeal to the state court.
The Ledger’s editorial board on Friday said the rulings against Lewis were very unsportsman-like.
“Lewis’ residency is sketchy, but disqualifying him could leave the Democrats without a candidate. That injures voters. In cases of ambiguity, the court should side with the candidate,” the board wrote.
Moreover, the board claims, when Lewis was winning medals, the New Jersey was all too happy to claim him as a favorite son, issuing proclamations and inducting him into the state’s hall of fame.