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Queen Appeal

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Posted: October 16, 2006 5:38 p.m.
Updated: October 24, 2006 8:39 a.m.
A Statesboro man who claims he was barred from running for city council last year has appealed a lower court's ruling to the Georgia Supreme Court.
    Nathan Queen filed his appeal earlier this week with the state's highest court, claiming the lower court was mistaken when it ruled Queen's rights were not violated by the city's minimum age requirement to seek office.
    "I still believe we have some valid arguments," Queen said. "There's another case out there that verifies our case that we just became aware of."
    Queen's case centers on his claim that the city’s age and residence requirements to run for office violated both state and federal law.
    However, Superior Court Judge T. Penn McWhorter found the city's minimum age requirements " do not violate any of the Plaintiff’s federal or state constitutional rights because they are rationally related to the city’s interest of having mature, experienced individuals manage the city government."
    Under the city's charter, a person has to be at least 25 years old to run for a city council and at least 30 years old to seek the mayor's office.
    Statesboro City Attorney Sam Brannen said that unlike the United States Supreme Court, the Georgia Supreme Court doesn't have any discretion as to which cases it hears.
    "They have to hear it," he said. "They can do whatever they want with it, but it does have to come before them."
    Brannen said there hasn't been a date set to hear the appeal.
    "His appeal starts a time schedule in which both sides have to file briefs and all the other things that go with that," he said. "No one knows when they might hear it."
    Despite prevailing the lower court, Brannen said there's no guarantee of a similar outcome in the Georgia Supreme Court.
    "You never know what the courts are going to do," he said.
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