Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu’s legal troubles just got worse. Locked in a tough re-election bid, the embattled Democrat has been sued by a former rival over her residency status.
Western Journalism told you last week about the investigation into Landrieu’s residency after a number of major news organizations reported serious questions concerning the senator’s legal residence. The law says that a senator is supposed to reside in the state that he or she represents.
Now, Fox News reports that a former Republican challenger for the Louisiana senate seat has taken the issue to court, arguing that Landrieu cannot legally represent Louisiana because she doesn’t officially live there:
The suit filed by GOP state Rep. Paul Hollis, who exited the Senate race in July, contends that Landrieu, a Democrat, cannot represent Louisiana because she lives full-time in Washington.
He argues that federal law says only “an inhabitant” of a state can be elected to the U.S. Senate to represent the state.
“Mary L. Landrieu is, in reality, a full-time permanent inhabitant of the District of Columbia. … (B)y all measurable and legal standards, her actual domicile is her $2.5 million residence on Capitol Hill, the only home she owns,” Hollis said in the lawsuit filed Friday in state district court in Baton Rouge.
Landrieu has repeatedly claimed that, when she’s not in Washington, she lives at her parents home in New Orleans, where she is registered to vote.
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The Times-Picayune newspaper says that other Landrieu opponents have joined state Rep. Paul Hollis in criticizing the senator’s residency status, though they reportedly have not added their names to the lawsuit.
Hollis dropped out of the race in July and endorsed Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy [who is running against Landrieu].
Cassidy and tea party favorite Rob Maness have both taken aim at Landrieu’s residency in speeches.
Battling the residency issue is nothing new for Mary Landrieu. Similar residency criticism in 2002 and 2008 failed to stop her election to the U.S. Senate.