Eli Rosenberg at The Atlantic with the round-up
With startling arrogance and audaciously twisted reasoning, two appellate judges ignored more than 100 years of legal precedent, invented a new definition of “residency” and ordered Rahm Emanuel off the Feb. 22 mayoral ballot.
With the election just four weeks away, the appellate panel voted 2-1 to reverse the decisions of the Chicago Board of Elections and a Circuit Court judge. It’s an adventurous, flawed ruling that has immediate and profound consequences. The case is headed to the Illinois Supreme Court, but the ballots are headed to the printer — without Emanuel’s name. Early voting begins Monday.
In a blistering dissent, Appellate Justice Bertina E. Lampkin accused her colleagues, Thomas E. Hoffman and Shelvin Louise Marie Hall, of “careless disregard for the law,” and harshly criticized them for refusing to ask the Supreme Court for an expedited review.
Lampkin accused the majority of ignoring case law that clearly supported Emanuel’s argument —including a significant case in which Hoffman prevailed.
“The majority’s new standard is ill-reasoned and unfair to the candidate, voters and those of us who are charged with applying the law,” Lampkin wrote. The decision “disenfranchises not just this particular candidate but every voter in Chicago who would consider voting for him.”
Richard Hasen at Slate:
Illinois, like many states, requires anyone running for a municipal office to be a resident of the municipality. This sensible rule ensures that elected officials understand the interests and desires of their constituents. Emanuel long lived in Chicago and was a congressman representing part of the city for many years before he became President Obama’s chief of staff. At that point he moved his family to Washington, D.C., and rented out his house. But he kept family heirlooms and other items locked in the Chicago basement, indicating a plan to return. It was well known that Emanuel hoped to come back and run for mayor whenever Mayor Richard M. Daley decided to step down from that office.
When Daley announced his retirement and Emanuel filed to run in the race, his opponents challenged his residency—and lost before the elections board, which found that Emanuel had intended to return to Chicago after his D.C. stint for the president. A trial court affirmed the board. Now this intermediate appellate court says that’s wrong. Because Emanuel did not have a regular physical presence in Chicago in the year before the election, he is ineligible to run.
Emanuel moved to Washington DC and stayed there for 21 months, only returning when Richard Daley announced he wouldn’t seek another term. Under that definition, the statute becomes essentially meaningless; anyone who lived in Chicago for any period of time could return and run for office on the shortest of notice and dare anyone to prove that returning wasn’t the intent all along. The majority ruled that the legislature intended this requirement to apply to physical residence — which makes sense, because one wants a mayor who’s actually familiar with the city’s issues.
Rahm gave a short statement to the press (no profanity delay buttons were necessary today). An appeal is on the way. He brushed off suggestion that politics played a role in court decision and said: “I have no doubt in the end we will prevail.”
Then, he cackled.
Just another day in the life of David Brooks favorite “Warmhearted Machiavellian.” But given that it’s Chicago, who know what will happen with the appeal. We’ll know it’s over if and when President Obama’s office Fed Exes Rahm another Luca Brasi-style dead fish.
Garance Franke-Ruta at The Atlantic:
If he is not granted that stay and the Illinois Supreme Court does not overturn the lower court’s opinion, it seems unlikely he would want take the Lisa Murkowski route and run as a write-in candidate, because the residency ruling would lead to a legal challenge to his being sworn into office.
On the one hand, there is no legal process to stop Emanuel from running a write-in campaign, according Ken Menzel, a legal counsel with the Illinois State Board of Elections.
“We don’t have a challenge process for write-in candidates in Illinois,” he explained. “You can’t prevent a person from being a write-in candidate.”
According to James Allen, a spokesman for the Chicago Board of Elections, Emanuel would have until Feb. 15 to file a write-in bid for the Feb. 22 Chicago mayoral primary election.
On the other hand — and more importantly — the state residency statute in question in the case decided today governs eligibility to hold public office, not eligibility to be on a ballot.
“The basis of the challenge is the allegation he’s not eligible for office,” Menzel said.
The finding that Emanuel failed to meet the state’s strict residency requirement, if not reversed, means a write-in campaign would begin in environment of uncertainty as to whether Emanuel could assume office, were he to win.
“I think you’re getting into uncharted waters if you get into a write-in campaign,” Menzel added. “This is the sort of thing that perhaps, if he were to try, we’d see some case-law made.”
Abdon Pallasch at Chicago Sun-Times:
The Illinois Supreme Court has ordered the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners to put Rahm Emanuel’s name back on the mayoral ballot, attorneys for Emanuel said Tuesday.
The court has not decided whether to hear Emanuel’s appeal of Monday’s Illinois Appellate Court ruling that tossed him out of the race to replace Mayor Daley. The Supreme Court granted Emanuel’s motion for a stay of the ruling, Emanuel attorney Mike Kasper said Tuesday.