A federal judge ordered D.C. election officials yesterday to conduct a special hearing to consider whether presidential assailant John W. Hinckley Jr. may vote in the Nov. 6 general election.
U.S. District Judge June Green issued the order after Hinckley sought court permission to attend an administrative hearing on the matter.
Hinckley, found not guilty by reason of insanity for the 1981 shooting of President Reagan, claims he has been unfairly denied a right to vote in the District.
Hinckley, who has been confined to St. Elizabeths Hospital since 1982, must obtain court permission to leave the mental hospital's complex and prosecutors have vehemently opposed his requests.
Green ordered election officials to conduct the hearing on Hinckley's voting rights claim at the hospital. No hearing date has been set.
By law, Hinckley is entitled to a public hearing. But St. Elizabeths officials said they could not allow reporters or other members of the public to attend the hearing.
Green, therefore, ordered that a transcript of the hearing be made public.
Hinckley claims he is entitled to vote because he has been a resident of the District of Columbia and a taxpayer for the last eight years.