A Jackson resident has gotten approval to begin a recall campaign against U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, but Walberg's campaign attorney says the Republican congressman may challenge the recall in court.
James Carr has 90 days to collect at least 50,000 signatures to hold a special election against the freshman lawmaker, whose 7th District stretches from Adrian in Lenawee County west and north to Battle Creek.
On Monday, the Lenawee County Elections Commission approved the wording of a recall campaign against Walberg, of Tipton.
Walberg attorney Eric Doster said recalling a member of Congress violates the U.S. Constitution, which has no provision for recalling presidents or U.S. senators or representatives.
But state Elections Division director Chris Thomas said Tuesday that state law allows for such recalls.
"Our law says you can, and no one has issued an opinion saying that you can't," he told The Associated Press. Thomas said he could not remember any previous recall efforts against a member of Congress being filed with his office.
Carr, 77, said his recall takes aim at Walberg's support of the Iraq war.
"How can you fight a war and spend billions of dollars and not pay for it?" Carr said of the mounting war debt being passed on to future generations. "That's one thing my conservative father taught me: You pay your bills."
Doster told the Jackson Citizen Patriot for a story Tuesday that Walberg may file suit in the next week or so in state or federal court to challenge Carr's efforts.
Carr's recall effort will require valid signatures from 25 percent of the 2006 gubernatorial voters in the 7th District, which includes all or part of Lenawee, Branch, Eaton, Calhoun, Hillsdale and Washtenaw counties. He said that petitions were to be printed and ready for distribution Tuesday.
If Carr can get the signatures and the state Elections Division approves the petitions, a special recall election against Walberg would be held in either February or May.