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The ruling in the topsy-turvy and politically charged case was issued nine days after the same three-judge panel from the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Mr. Lewis, a Democrat, should be on the ballot. But instead of issuing a full legal opinion, the court scheduled another hearing, which it held earlier this week.

When its opinion was released Thursday, it was different from the earlier order:

“Lewis has failed to show that, as applied to him, the four-year state residency requirement for the office of state senator in New Jersey has treated him unequally,” the opinion said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports