New Jersey Court OKs Tea Party Group’s Petition to Oust Senator

The three-judge panel Tuesday ordered New Jersey’s Secretary of State to accept a petition from a conservative Tea Party group seeking to recall Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez.

FoxNews.com
3/16/2010

TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey appeals court ruled Tuesday that a conservative tea party group should have the right to try to throw a U.S. senator out of office, but also said the group would have to wait for a final decision by a higher court before proceeding.

The three-judge panel initially ordered New Jersey’s Secretary of State to accept a petition from the group seeking to recall Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez. But the court also issued a stay because the case was certain to be appealed.

The ruling would have allowed the group to begin collecting the 1.3 million voter signatures needed to get a recall on the ballot.

The court set aside the larger question of whether New Jersey voters have a constitutional right to recall a federal lawmaker. New Jersey is among 18 states that allow recalls of statewide elected officials, but there is no right to recall congressmen and senators under the U.S. Constitution.

The court said it would take up that question when, and if, the petition drive succeeds.

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