Emanuel files appeal with Illinois Supreme Court
January 25th, 2011
11:31 AM ET
11 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. ygbsm

    let no crisis go unused. Karma, the equalizer.

    January 25, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  2. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Starting YESTERDAY, no matter what happens with his legal attempts to get his name on the ballot, he has to go MURKOWSKI on Chicago.
    At every chance, talk about a write in if nothing else works, or until his name gets on the ballot. If the absentee ballots go out without his name on it, he needs to tell people to WRITE IT IN!

    January 25, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. Leroy

    The bottom line is that he has to LIVE in Chicago for 1 year before running – the law is VERY clear. He did not LIVE here. He only has a house here that he rented out.
    We are hoping that all that Obama money doesn't make its way into the pockets of the Illinois Supreme Court Judges to vote him back on the ballot....if that happens, there will be a riot in Chicago

    January 25, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. Steve Martin

    In the end it really doesn't matter where Emanuel "considers" himself a citizen of. It only matter what the law says and how the courts interpret it. However, given the nature of the Cook County political machine and the fact that he has Obama's support, nothing would surprise me.

    January 25, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  5. 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.

    January 25, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. JON

    So glad Emanuel is off the ballot!! Now at least the people can decide who the next Mayor will be and not Daley & Obama...

    January 25, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  7. jean2009

    The sole issue should be does he maintain a home and pay property tax, where has he casts his ballot, does he have a current valid state driver's license, does he pay utility bills for a residence in the state.

    January 25, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. toughtimes

    Good bye Rahm – sure Obama will take you back in some capacity.

    January 25, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. John

    I like the Obama administration. But Emanual should be a legit resident of Chicago before presuming to be its mayor. I also know that he has been a resident but it has been awhile.

    January 25, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. Bob

    I think if he kept his Illinois drivers license and an address for Chicago there would be no problem because then he would still be legally a resident of Chicago. However, he must have changed things (his ID) once he went to Washington and became a D.C. resident. He didn't think about that now did he??? Too bad for him!

    January 25, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  11. Fed Up

    I told you to open your wallet Rahm. Guess you didn't throw enough cash around. Obviously you have not lived in Chicago long enough to know how politics works in your state.

    January 25, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. Rick McDaniel

    Laughing all the way, through this fiasco.

    January 25, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "So glad Emanuel is off the ballot!! Now at least the people can decide who the next Mayor will be and not Daley & Obama..."

    That's right. Ignore that the polls show Rahm is overwhelmingly...to a ridiculous extent really...the candidate that the people of Chicago want to tbe their mayor. Whatever it takes to protect your little ideological partisan vacuum bubble from bursting, right?

    January 25, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  14. Sebastian Kent of Greensboro NC


    If you want to run for MAYOR you MUST LIVE in the city for the prior year – NOT own a house – NOT pay property taxes – NOT read the local newspaper – but LIVE there.

    Don`t like the rule? Then as a citizen of Chicago, CHANGE it. But do not portray this as someone manufacturing a ruse @ the 11th hour to discriminate against Rahm! Hold all politicians ACCOUNTABLE.

    January 25, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  15. Chuck

    He's just trying to save face. We all know Obama fired him...he did not step down.

    January 25, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  16. Judgement

    I hope this guy gets what is coming to him, he is a total jerk. I hope for the sake of Chicago that he dosen't get to run. Would be nice to try to help break down that corrupt Chicago Political machine that seems to keep being perpetuated there.

    January 25, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "In the end it really doesn't matter where Emanuel "considers" himself a citizen of"

    Actually, legally speaking, that is completely, utterlym, entirely, 100% the CRUX of the whole argument. Please go inform yourself by reading the lower court's decision and, maybe, a few of the decisions from other appellate divisions. Residency for voter status is almost entirely an analysis of what the person's INTENT was while being outside the district in which he still wishes to vote. The question is whether the same standard should and does apply to the particular regulations at issue here with respect to residency requirements to be a CANDIDATE. Inventing nonsense just so you can criticize Obama and the Dems and irrationally support your ill-reasoned accusations and assumptions of their corruption is a sign of reality denial pantwetting.

    January 25, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  18. Protect and Defend Freedom of Speech in the USA

    I hope they save Chicago from the clown. The people there deserve better.

    January 25, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. Pedro

    This ruling is pretty absurd if you think about it. If this standard were to hold, every federally elected official in the state of Illinois would be ineligible to run again as they no longer live in the state. They currently live in Washington DC.

    January 25, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  20. toughtimes

    i just hope someone has a tape recorder going when Obama makes some calls to get his buddy back on the ballot. Should make for some interesting listening.

    January 25, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  21. Mike in WA

    If he paid the income tax for Illinois then he shouldn't have a problem saying he was a resident of the state.

    January 25, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  22. Gordon

    And politicians wonder why people do not trust them. It is because they do not do 'the right thing', but instead try to bend the rules to their own benefit. 'Reside in' means 'live in', no matter how you try to change the meaning. With very rare exceptions, politicians are primarily interested in what they can get, not what they can give. Think of what a great country the USA would be if all politicians put the people first. Instead it has an abysmal human rights record, a health system that is seriously broken, more people below the poverty level than many developing nations, and is mistrusted and disliked worldwide. It's too bad that Americans can't see their country as it really is, but instead say it is the greatest place on earth. The American PEOPLE are great, but as a country it is third rate.

    January 25, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  23. Cases

    For those of you arguing that he shouldn't be on the ballot, keep in mind that by the same logic, Dick Cheney should have been ineligible to be VP back in 2000. He and George Bush both resided in Texas, and, according to the Constitution, electors cannot vote for a presidential and VP candidate who are residents of the same state. The Supreme Court let it slide (Cheney took out a P.O. box in Wyoming), apparently because it prioritized the right of voters and electors to vote as they wish ahead of the residence rule. It was an activist rather than strict constructionist view, but the rationale seems clear enough. And by that rationale, Emanuel should be permitted to run.

    January 25, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  24. Dr. Bob

    No, the 3 candidates running against him keep pushing this "residency" issue because they KNOW the race is already over. Neither have any chance of beating him and this is the only path they can go down. It's child-like. Yes, fair is fair, but it's a joke if you try to say this isn't an extenuating circumstance. Especially since he paid taxes.

    January 25, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  25. Elizabeth

    So many people commenting here without a clue. As a resident of IL (Cook County, though not Chicago), I've been listening to the coverage every day on NPR and in the Chicago Trib. Yes, he filed taxes in IL. He voted in IL and he voted in Chicago-only elections. He was serving his country in Washington, DC. Most congressmen spend more time in Washington than in their home congressional districts, but this doesn't render them ineligible to run for re-election. As a suburbanite, I can't vote in the election even though the mayor has a huge impact on the economy of the region. Based on existing precedents set by the courts, he should be eligible to have his name on the ballot. It really does appear we had 2 rogue judges here. The dissenting judge lambasted the majority opinion and urged that the IL Supreme Court hear the case ASAP.

    Those commenting on the "liberal agenda?" There's only one agenda in Chicago and all the contenders are dems. This isn't a conspiracy from the left. Carol Moseley Braun and Gery Chico are dems, too. C'mon people. Do a little reading before you air your ignorant, uninformed comments in a public forum.

    January 25, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
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