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Texas: GOP to seek Supreme Court review of DeLay decision

Lyle Denniston writes on SCOTUSblog: The head of the Texas Republican Party, seeking to clear a space on the November election ballot for a new GOP candidate for the House of Representatives, announced plans Thursday to file an appeal to the Supreme Court on an expedited basis, after the Fifth Circuit Court kept former Rep. Tom DeLay on the ballot. The plan means that the state GOP will bypass any chance for en banc review in the Circuit Court, and go directly to the Supreme Court.

The case potentially could result in a clarification of states' power to decide when a candidate for the national legislature has lost eligibility -- an issue that iimplicates the constitutional definition of qualifications for a congressional candidate.

Tina Benkiser, chair of the state party, said in a statement that the GOP considers DeLay no longer eligible to be a candidate, because he has moved to Virginia and plans to remain there. He resigned from the House in April, amid spreading difficulties over campaign finance and lobbying scandals and said he would not run for reelection. He resigned after he had won the GOP primary in Texas' 22d congressional district in March; for the time being, he remains on the ballot. -- SCOTUSblog

Note: The opinion in the case is here.

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