Judge dismisses lawsuit filed against Landrieu on her residency

Judge dismisses lawsuit filed against Landrieu on her residency
State Rep. Paul Hollis, R-Covington (Source: Kiran Chawla/WAFB)
State Rep. Paul Hollis, R-Covington (Source: Kiran Chawla/WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A judge quickly dismissed a lawsuit against US Sen. Mary Landrieu related to her residency that was filed by former US Senate candidate and current Louisiana Rep. Paul Hollis, R-Covington.

Judge Wilson Fields ruled Friday morning that according to the Constitution, the suit was filed prematurely, which is why it was dismissed. Tony Clayton & Kimberly Hood represented Landrieu and asked the judge to issue sanctions.

"There are statutes in the state of Louisiana that govern state elected officials, but the rules governing United States senators are always governed by the Constitution. The Constitution trumps them," said Trump.

The lawsuit, which Hollis filed last week, challenged whether Landrieu is actually a Louisiana resident and thus, legally qualified to run for US Senate. Hollis is a former candidate in the current Senate race. He dropped out and endorsed Landrieu's main opponent, Congressman Bill Cassidy, R-LA.

Landrieu is registered to vote in Louisiana using the address of a New Orleans home where her parents live. The home is owned by a trust in which the senator, her siblings and their parents share equally. Landrieu has said she lives there when she is in New Orleans. She owns a home on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Judge Fields that the Constitution says a senator must be a resident of the state they're representing at the time they're elected, not while they're a candidate. He said the time to challenge the residency would be after the Nov. 4th election, if Sen. Landrieu wins.

"I can tell you this is not going away because I think people in Louisiana want a senator that's an inhabitant of their state. They don't want a senator who lives in a multi-million dollar mansion in Washington D.C.," said Hollis.

Meanwhile, Landrieu's legal team called the suit a "political sham."

"It was essentially just an attack ad that they didn't want to pay the TV networks for the privilege for placing on the air. We're pleased with the outcome," said Hood.

"This was not a political stunt. I feel very passionately that Sen. Landrieu needs to be held accountable as a citizen of the great state of Louisiana. It's disappointing to me when I see information that Sen. Mary Landrieu has no real stake here at all," said Hollis.

Members of the Republican Party of Louisiana waited outside the 19th Judicial Courthouse with signs to welcome Landrieu back to Louisiana, but she did not attend the hearing. Several attorneys were in court on her behalf.

Fields ordered Hollis pay court fees.

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