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King Plans to Appeal Ruling on Mobile Co. Commissioner

By Associated Press

Montgomery, AL – Attorney General Troy King said he plans a U-S Supreme Court appeal of a three-judge federal panel's order that removed a Republican from a Mobile County Commission seat in a heavily Democratic district.

On Friday, the panel denied King's motion to stay its earlier order and temporarily return Republican Juan Chastang to his seat on the commission.

Chastang, who is black, was appointed by Governor Riley in November 2005 in a district that is mostly black and votes Democratic. But the appointment was challenged by Democrats because the Justice Department had not given its required approval under the Voting Rights Act. Democrats are calling for a special election.

Chastang has been out of office since May 1st, leaving two commissioners to run the county.

Meanwhile, the Mobile County Probate Court filed a motion with the Montgomery federal court asking for instructions on what to do with the vacancy on the commission.

State law requires that a special election be held to fill an open seat on the commission 60 to 90 days from the date of the vacancy, which was May 1st.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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