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Appeals Court Tosses Rahm Emanuel Off Chicago Ballot

The latest round in the legal fight over whether Rahm Emanuel is eligible to run for Mayor of Chicago didn’t go so well for the former Chief of Staff:

The Illinois Appellate Court has tossed mayoral frontrunner Rahm Emanuel off the ballot, reversing the decision of a lower court.

The Appellate Court reached a 2-1 decision to remove Emanuel.

Appellate judges Thomas Hoffman and Shelvin Louise Marie Hall ruled against Emanuel. Justice Bertina Lampkin voted in favor of keeping President Obama’s former chief of staff on the Feb. 22 ballot.

“It’s a surprise,” said Kevin Forde, the attorney who argued on Emanuel’s behalf.

Emanuel’s attorneys are expected to use Lampkin’s dissenting opinion to appeal the case to the Illinois Supreme Court.

In today’s ruling, Hoffman wrote: “We … order that the candidate’s name be excluded (or if, necessary, be removed) from the ballot from Chicago’s Feb. 22, 2011.”

Opponents have been trying to get Emanuel removed on the grounds that he did not reside in Chicago for a year before the upcoming February election. He moved to Washington, D.C., two years ago to work for President Barack Obama.

A hearing officer, the full Chicago Board of Elections, and a Cook County Circuit Court judge ruled earlier that Emanuel is eligible to run for mayor.

Illinois state law says a candidate for mayor is required to have lived in the municipality where he is running for at least one year prior to the election. But exceptions are made for national service. Attorney Burton Odelson, who led the charge to get Emanuel removed, argued that “national service” would only apply to military service, not serving in the White House as Emanuel did.

Anyone think that there are going to be a few dead fish delivered to a few judges?

Update: For those of you interested in the intricacies of Chicago Election Law, you can read the opinion here.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Dave Schuler says:

    It will be an exciting election. Next stop, Illinois Supreme Court!

    Last week Emanuel got a non-endorsement from the FOP. I still think that Chico is the best candidate in the race.

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  2. James Joyner says:

    Very interesting. I don’t have a horse in the race, aside from sincerely hoping Carol Moseley-Braun isn’t elected. But it strikes me as odd that someone whose residency has only been interrupted by serving in Congress and the White House would be considered to have lost it for purposes of running for mayor.

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  3. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    “…someone whose residency has only been interrupted by serving in Congress and the White House…”

    As I understand it, the applicable law makes no exception for why a residency is interrupted, it simply states that a person must have been a resident for at least one year prior to the election. Your own statement acknowledges that he hasn’t fulfilled that requirement.

    However, I am shocked, shocked I say, to find that there is some rule of law in Chicago. What will they do next, block dead people from voting?

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  4. Dave Schuler says:

    But it strikes me as odd that someone whose residency has only been interrupted by serving in Congress and the White House would be considered to have lost it for purposes of running for mayor

    As I read the decision the court found that the law distinguishes between voter residency requirements and candidacy residency requirements. Mr. Emanuel has satisfied voter residency requirements but not candidacy requirements. There’s also a discussion of the distinction between domicile and residence.

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  5. JKB says:

    Well, there should be some distinction between being in elected office such as Congress and voluntarily taking a job as a private person even if it is for political reasons.

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  6. PD Shaw says:

    I think this is surprising. Going to the Ill. Supreme Court, we will have for the first time, non-Chicagoans involved. (The Court has 3 Chicagoans, and 4 from the remainder of Illinois)

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  7. PD Shaw says:

    Dave is Emanuel’s tenant still seeking running for mayor out of Emanuel’s house?

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  8. Dave,

    My understanding is that early voting starts in a week, right?

    The timing of this decision is going to make any appeal really difficult.

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  9. Dave Schuler says:

    Early voting is scheduled to begin one week from today on January 31. Unless a stay of the appellate court’s order is granted, the BoE will be in contempt unless it either removes Emanuel’s name from the ballot or otherwise blocks registering the votes (which would be my guess on what they’ll do).

    If the stay is granted, there will be even more chaos.

    Emanuel’s tenant dropped out a couple of weeks ago. I think he had a problem getting enough signatures.

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  10. PD Shaw says:

    The ballots have not been printed yet and the Board of Elections has announced that it has no present plan to put Emanual on the ballots. The burden is on Emanual to get timely relief.

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  11. PD Shaw says:

    One of the S.Ct. justices has a husband who is a supporter of one of Emanuel’s opponents. There may be a recusal fight.

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  12. PD Shaw says:

    Rahm says he won’t seek to recuse the Justice.

    He’s probably thinking that the Court consists of four Ds and three Rs, and if there is any possibility of ideological voting, then getting one Democratic Justice recused could only result in a tie, which would be a loss.

    Better to come out and say nice things about her.

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