The first of two court cases over Indiana Senator Richard Lugar‘s residency goes before a judge today. Lugar wants Marion Circuit Judge Louis Rosenberg to reinstate his right to vote from the address of the Wayne Township home he sold after entering the Senate in 1977.
Three attorneys general have concluded that address is “frozen” as his voting address until he leaves Congress, but the Marion County Election Board ruled the sale of the home means Lugar abandoned it. A 2-1 party-line majority says Lugar and his wife must find a new Marion County residence within 10 days or forfeit their ability to vote in the May primary.
Rosenberg has noted in a ruling on preliminary motions that the facts “are not truly in dispute” — the case will turn on the proper way to interpret the law. Lugar‘s appeal is one of two pending lawsuits. On April 10, Marion Superior Judge Michael Keele will hear Tea Party claims that Lugar should be kicked off the primary ballot on the grounds that he is no longer an Indiana resident. Both the Indiana Election Commission and the Marion County Election Board have rejected that argument.
Lugar is trying to fend off a Republican primary challenge from state Treasurer Richard Mourdock.