A New Jersey appeals court is allowing a conservative tea party group to proceed with an effort to throw a Democratic U.S. senator out of office.
The three-judge panel Tuesday ordered the secretary of state to accept the group's petition seeking to recall Sen. Robert Menendez. That allows the tea party activists to begin collecting the 1.3 million voter signatures they need to get a recall on the ballot.
The court set aside the larger question of whether voters have a constitutional right to recall a federal lawmaker.
New Jersey is among 18 states that allow recalls of statewide elected officials. There is no right to recall congressmen and senators under the U.S. Constitution.
The court says it would take up that question if the petition drive succeeds.