PHILADELPHIA - (AP) - A lawyer for nine-time Olympic gold medalistCarl Lewis says voters should decide whether he's qualified to be aNew Jersey state senator.

Today's hearing in a federal appeals court was likely the finalpitch to get Lewis back on the ballot for the November election.

The Republican Secretary of State ordered the Democrat off theballot last month, saying he didn't meet a four-year stateresidency requirement.

A lower federal court agreed.

But Lewis' lawyer told an appeals court judge that Lewis meetsthe residency requirement. Lewis has testified that he now lives inMedford but also owns a home and business in California.

The lawyer also says the rule is unconstitutional because itwould treat Lewis differently from others.

Officials say the ballot must be set by Thursday.

NJ Supreme Court won't hear Carl Lewis case Appeals court puts Carl Lewis back on NJ primary ballot Lewis moves ahead with appeals to get into race Another court rules against Carl Lewis' Senate run Judge upholds residency ruling for NJ Senate hopeful Carl Lewis