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5 Popular High-Profile Governors Face Legal Trouble

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AP Photo / Susan Walsh

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R): Perhaps the governor that's gotten the most attention over an investigation is Christie, who has continued to be dogged by the George Washington bridge traffic scandal. The latest news on that front is that a commissioner for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey resigned on Monday, just a few days after new reports of a second investigation of Christie's ties to the Port Authority. Other Port Authority officials have quit in recent months as probes into the lane closures of the George Washington Bridge at the center of the bridge scandals have intensified. (The commissioner's spokesman has denied that the resignation was connected to the reports on investigations of the George Washington Bridge closures.)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R): In Wisconsin Walker faces challenges over whether he conducted illegal activity while running for governor. On Thursday, Walker's re-election campaign asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to take up a case from the state Court of Appeals over if prosecutors could subpoena documents as part of an investigation into illegal coordination between Walker's campaign and outside groups during recent recall elections. Walker survived one of those elections in 2012.

Gov. Nathan Deal (R): In Georgia, jurors recently awarded the former director of the state's ethics commission $700,000 in a lawsuit arguing that she was pushed out for her aggressive investigation of complaints that focused on Deal. Since then Deal has proposed a "comprehensive" overhaul of the ethics commission in which the five-person panel is replaced with 12 members appointed by the executive, judicial, and legislative branches, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R): Earlier in the month, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled that Scott's administration broke federal law when it purged non-citizens from voter rolls during the 2012 presidential election. In a ruling of 2-1 the Court of Appeals determined that the roll purge violated the National Voter Registration Act's "90 Days Provision" that says states have to "complete, not later than 90 days prior to the date of a primary or general election for Federal office, any program the purpose of which is to systematically remove the names of ineligible voters from the official lists of eligible voters."

About The Author

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Daniel Strauss is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He was previously a breaking news reporter for The Hill newspaper and has written for Politico, Roll Call, The American Prospect, and Gaper's Block. He has also interned at Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and The New Yorker. Daniel grew up in Chicago and graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in History. At Michigan he helped edit Consider, a weekly opinion magazine. He can be reached at daniel@talkingpointsmemo.com.