Emanuel files appeal with Illinois Supreme Court
January 25th, 2011
11:31 AM ET
12 years ago

Emanuel files appeal with Illinois Supreme Court

Updated: Illinois Supreme Court hands Emanuel initial victory

Washington (CNN) - Lawyers for Rahm Emanuel filed papers Tuesday with the Illinois Supreme Court seeking an appeal from a lower court ruling that held the former White House chief of staff is ineligible to appear on Chicago's mayoral ballot because of residency requirements.

In the 24-page brief, Emanuel's lawyers argue "the decision below squarely conflicts with other appellate rulings addressing candidate residency requirements" and contend the lower court "was unable to find a single appellate decision supporting its novel legal standard."

The move comes the day after a 2-1 ruling from a panel of Illinois Appellate Court justices ruled Emanuel did not meet state provisions mandating Chicago mayoral candidates have to live in the city for at least a year prior to the election. The ruling overturned a previous Chicago Board of Elections decision that found Emanuel had in fact met the requirements.

At issue in Monday's ruling is what the term "resided in" in the state provision means. Emanuel's lawyers argue that phrase should not be assigned the same meaning as "lived in." Instead, Emanuel's lawyers say, the fact that the former top Obama aide has maintained a residence in the city for the last two years is enough to satisfy the requirement.

Emanuel, a former congressman from Chicago, has long argued that his stint in Washington was only a temporary assignment and he still considered himself to be a resident of Chicago.

The election is February 22.

Filed under: Chicago mayoral race • Rahm Emanuel
soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. Bob

    Don't like his politics, but he's a resident of Chicago. Just because he chose to serve temporarily in the federal gov't doesn't make him a resident of Washington. Would we want to disqualify a former soldier from running for office, just because he or she just got done living for two years in Iraq? Or an ambassador, who serves overseas, but then returns and wants to run for office in his home town? To me, this is no different.

    January 25, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  2. Michelle

    It's really pretty simple – I'm willing to bet he had a driver's license and paid his income taxes in DC, therefore that's where he resided – that's where he lived. Maintaining a house in another state does not make it your place of residence, it just does not. I live in MA and know lots of people who have additional homes in NH, but they aren't even allowed to register their cars in NH because having a home there doesn't mean you live there just because you go to that home on the weekends. The laws are pretty simple and clearly define a primary residence...it's the one you live at. Emanuel in DC for the past two years. What's the debate about?

    I think it's pretty funny to watch Democrats change the rules when they don't like how it applies to them. Here in MA, at the time of Ted Kennedy's death, the governor did not have the power to pick an interim replacement; it wasn't allowed by law here. But oh wait – healthcare reform was hanging on the balance in Congress and they couldn't stand that seat being empty, so the Dem lawmakers in this state QUICKLY changed the law, granting power to the governor to select an interim replacement. Funny how that works, when it suits their interest, Dems will simply change the laws.

    January 25, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. maria m

    Doesn't anyone actually read the laws involved in this case? That is what Courts look at. What does the IL Municipal Code say? That is what covers candidates for office. Doesn't matter what you think....or what common sense tells you. It doesn't matter about taxes paid or driver's license. IL Municipal Code says: person is not eligible for an elective municipal office unless they are a qualified voter AND has resided in the municipality at least one year next preceding the election. The Court had to interpret this. What does "reside" mean? Does "reside" mean "live there"?

    The exemption for service to the United States is part of the Election Code which covers the ability to vote. Those in service to the U.S. (such as the military) can still vote even though they may not have their residence in a particular precinct anymore. Election Code does not deal with candidates for office. 2 different statutes covering 2 different things....written by the Illinois Legislature.

    This is how the Appellate Court interpreted this. Don't know if the Supremes will agree.

    January 25, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. Behebbak

    HHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hey Raum! Did you really believe the same corrupt machine that got Obama elected would work for a nobody like "you"?!

    HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The arrogance.

    January 25, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. cindy

    Im sure if we can hide a birth certificate, then surely we can let Rahm be a citizen!

    January 25, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  6. Bob

    For those saying he just rented out his house, then what prevents someone from owning a home in random cities around America and then running for office? Once one term is over you could then pick the next spot.

    Conversely, if the law is must "live in" as it has been interpreted, what happens if someone doesn't live there for one night, a week, etc.? Maybe they went on vacation...does this mean the didn't reside in the city for 1 year if they didn't spend every night in it?

    I think it will get over turned from the shear fact that the second point is not "fair" that you have to sleep in the jurisdiction 365 days preceding an election. I almost guarantee you that you could rule out every candidate running in that they likely left at some point for some length of time.

    And no...I am not for Rahm...just about the truth.

    January 25, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. Dave

    Unless he maintains a residence, pays taxes in The city, he has no recourse. It is the same if you seek a resident discount, tax credit. You must show a DL, utility bill, tax bill etc. It should be a black and white thing. He lives/holds residence or dos'nt.

    January 25, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. Truly

    I can't believe he did not know this may become an issue before he resigned. Or maybe just thought their would be that special exception for him.

    January 25, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. Rose

    Seems that the main question that needs to be answered is Did he pay state income tax while he was away .If so, what is listed as his primary residence.

    January 25, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  10. islander

    Which state would you be a resident of if you owned and rented out houses in three states? Oh wait, I know the answer. Whichever one you chose. Yes? No? Why?

    January 25, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. Dennis

    This is all really Democratic infighting. IIt's hilaroius. Defining "live" and "reside" is about like Bill Clinton trying to define the word"is".

    January 25, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  12. Jim

    In other news... The Jets are appealing their loss. They say they should be re- considered for the super bowl afterall.

    January 25, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  13. Don in Delaware

    This seems quite simple. If he can vote in the district... then he's a resident. They can't allow him to vote, then say he can't run for office there.

    January 25, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. Hum Hum

    He just can't have enough power. Take your marbles and go home ronald!

    January 25, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  15. John

    Sir Emanuel should not to be allowed to be on the ballot. I am a veteran and I find it disrespectful to compare Emanuel's residency to service members. Service members leave their homes after receiving "orders" from the Department of Defense. Sir Emanuel is and always has been private citizen who “choose" meaning voluntarily left to serve the President. Sir Emanuel working for the president benefitted himself, not the American people. I believe the appellate court made the correct decision. Sir Emanuel should abide by the rules.

    January 25, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  16. Name

    Regardless of what we(people) want,the elite will place him there. He could be from a different region,and if he fits there agenda he will be placed. Look at what's happening now in our current administtation

    January 25, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA – John "The Weeper of the House" Boehner

    If Murkowski can win as a write-in candidate, I'm sure you can as well Rahm.

    Look, genius. The residency requirement is to HOLD THE OFFICE, not to be ON THE BALLOT. Rarely do I agree with Dominican Mama, but she's spot on correct with this one.

    January 25, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  18. x-Illini

    another chicago style politico-paid for Judges–he will get it

    January 25, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  19. Mike

    Are all of you afraid he will win? Why not let the voters decide? If the people of Chicago want him to be the Mayor, then let him be the Mayor. If they don't they won't vote for him. Come on people. I thought we were a democratic society.

    January 25, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  20. Adam

    The law is the law. It isn't Rahm making up the rules, the law is the law!

    January 25, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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