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Maldonado fails to get Assembly OK for lieutenant governor; court fight might follow

The California Assembly on Thursday failed to confirm Sen. Abel Maldonado (R-Santa Maria)  as lieutenant governor, setting the stage for a potential court fight between the Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He received 37 votes in favor of his confirmation and 35 votes against confirmation. All but one of the Assembly's Republican members voted for his promotion. Only eight members of the 49-member Democratic caucus voted to support Maldonado. The Assembly's only independent member, Juan Arambula of Fresno, also voted in support of confirmation.

But it may not be over. In the end, the courts may be asked to decide what the definition of rejection is. At issue is whether Maldonado's nomination had to be rejected by a majority of the Assembly's 80 members, as the administration maintains. The Assembly leadership says Maldonado's confirmation was rejected simply because he failed to receive 41 votes in the Assembly.

Read the full story and more coverage on state politics at PolitiCal, The Times' California Politics Blog.

Photo: L.A. Times file

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