|Sen. Richard Lugar|
But the cry of protestations from the Lugar camp is that the Senior Senator can't afford that second home. Really? Lugar makes $174,000 a year as a U.S. Senator. According to his 2010 financial disclosure statement, Lugar is very likely a millionaire with virtually no debt. Yet Lugar can't afford even a $1,000 a month apartment and instead has to stick taxpayers for renting rooms at fancy hotels such as JW Marriott?
Lugar's problem is that he arrogantly wants to use a stranger's home as his current residence, a house at 3200 Highwoods Court that he sold in 1977. Lugar continues to sign documents under oath he lives at that home and puts that address on official government documents in order to get an Indiana's drivers' license and pay Indiana income tax. It should be noted that where Lugar actually lives, Virginia, has a higher income tax rate than Indiana. Defenders point to a statute which says that people in service to the state do not lose their Indiana residence because they spend most of their time out of state. Of course, Lugar didn't lose his residency because of his service in D.C.. He lost his residency because he sold his home and established no other residency in Indiana.
Indiana law does not provide an exception to voter fraud and perjury statutes which allow an individual like Lugar to sign documents under oath that they lives someplace they don't live. And even if the above law regarding out-of-state might be misconstrued to allow Lugar a pass, pray tell what is the exception to the law that allows his wife, Char, to do the same thing? Even Lugar defenders avoid that question. They have no answer.
Of course, none of the above has anything to do with the requirement that Lugar be an "inhabitant" of Indiana under the United States Constitution in order to be elected U.S. Senator. The United States Supreme Court in U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton (1995) has said that state law is irrelevant to the qualifications under Article 1. That shot down Lugar's only defense to his claim he meets the Article 1 inhabitancy requirement because of Indiana law, an issue which, by the way, have never been addressed by an Indiana Attorney General. Even if elected, the Senate can refuse to seat Lugar.
|Prof. Douglas W. Kmiec|
After that, Prof. Kmiec's opinion becomes even more humorous. Even though he listed as the "Caruso Family Chair in Constitutional Law and Human Rights" on his letterhead, Prof Kmiec apparently lacks access to the Constitution or any law books. In his opinion, Prof. Kmiec fails to cite any provision in the constitution, any statutes, or any case law. Instead he cites stories in the media by Jim Shella, Matt Tully and Andrea Neal, none of which have any legal background whatsoever. Prof. Kmiec then notes that Lugar has gotten by with using someone else's address when he files his taxes and gotten an Indiana driver's license. Prof. Kmiec suggests that that is evidence Lugar's residency is not a problem. The misplaced logic is astonishing. It is akin to saying because a person has shoplifted from a store several times before, that is then evidence that it is okay to steal from that store.
If the Lugar people desire a legal defense of the senior senator from a law professor, they need to do better than the tripe Prof. Kmiec offers in his letter.