|Sen. Richard Lugar|
There is no requirement that a person maintain a house, apartment, or any fixed physical location," said then-Attorney General Linley Pearson in a 1982 opinion provided to Lugar ahead of his 1982 race. Attorney General Greg Zoeller has supported Pearson's interpretation of state law.The Pearson advisory opinion relies on the state constitution and state law to supplement the federal constitutional requirement that a candidate for Senator be an "inhabitant" of the state. But the Pearson opinion was issued in 1982. In 1995, the United States Supreme Court handed down U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton, a case in which it was held that states, through their constitution or state law, cannot alter or amend the congressional qualifications provision in Article I of the U.S. Constitution.
Conservative activist Greg Wright filed a complaint with the Indiana Election Commission in December alleging voter fraud by Lugar and his wife Charlene. But the commission, which weighs whether or not candidates make it on the state ballot, has not scheduled a hearing on the complaint.
Daniels said he wouldn't force the election commission to hear the complaint.
"Both the [state] constitution and the statute are clear that (Lugar) is qualified as he's been for all his previous elections. We're going have a good, competitive election but he ought not try to end it on a technicality that really isn't legally valid," Daniels said.
One could certainly argue that the Thornton case invalidates the Pearson opinion which says that Lugar could meet the federal constitutional requirement that one live in the state he/she represents as U.S. Senator by satisfying state law requirements for residency for that office.