Court: Cheney Is Wyoming Resident

ByABC News
December 7, 2000, 8:45 AM

N E W  O R L E A N S, Dec. 7 -- Dick Cheney is a Wyoming resident andtherefore would be constitutionally qualified to serve as George W.Bushs vice president, a federal appeals court ruled today.

The ruling came from the bench after an hour-long hearing inwhich lawyers for three Texas residents argued that Cheney hadmoved to Bushs home state of Texas when he took a job there in1993.

The 12th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prevents thepresident and vice president from living in the same state.

The three-judge appellate panel took a short recess after thearguments, then Judge Patrick Higginbotham returned to say withoutelaboration that the panel was in agreement that Cheney clearly isa Wyoming resident.

Higginbotham was appointed by former President Reagan. TheothersRhesa H. Barksdale and Jacques L. Wiener Jr.wereappointed by former President Bush.

Plaintiffs Are Ready to Appeal

The three plaintiffs are prepared to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court ifthe appeals court sides with a lower court judge, said James Jones,one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs.

Its an important constitutional question, Jones said.Its one that Bush and Cheney have tried to finesse, but I thinkits one that deserves serious attention.

U.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater, a Republican appointed byPresident Reagan, ruled Friday that Cheney has proven he has botha physical presence within the state of Wyoming and the intent thatWyoming be his place of habitation.

Cheney spokeswoman Juleanna Glover Weiss predicted the appealwould fail. A similar lawsuit filed in Florida was dismissed Nov.20.

We just think they have no legal grounds and that the caseitself is baseless, she said. At some point, theyre going tohave to take stock and realize this dog dont hunt.

Dallas Home Since 1993

Cheney, a former Wyoming congressman, lived in Dallas while hewas chairman of Halliburton Co. until he changed his votingregistration to Teton County, Wyo., on July 21 four days beforebecoming Bushs running mate.