Rahm Wins Appeal from Illinois Supreme Court
Before you can blink an eye, fortunes seem to have reversed for Rahm Emanuel, the embattled former White House Chief-of-Staff who was tossed off the Chicago mayoral ballot yesterday by an Illinois appeals court. Today, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to an emergency hearing of his residency case. The Supreme Court also issued an order than no ballots should be printed without Emanuel's name. Because early voting starts Monday, printed had started and 300,000 ballots had been printed without Emanuel's name. Now the printing starts anew, with Emanuel's name on the ballot.
At issue in the legal game of tussle, is whether Emanuel meets the Illinois code of residency. Earlier the board of election commissioners and a lower court said he did, mainly because he kept a house in Illinois and stored personal items there while he was in Washington, D.C., working with President Barack Obama.
The Illinois Supreme Court will hear Emanuel's case on an expedited basis, which means the justices would use briefs already submitted in the lower court and would hold no oral arguments and allow no additional submission of briefs. No one know how quickly they will make a decision or if it will be before voting starts on Monday.
During this period of uncertainty, Emanuel went right on campaigning as usual. He received an endorsement from a group of Teamsters, and discussed his plans for taxes, a minimum wage, street safety, and other issues. But he didn't discuss the appellate court's decision. Only his lawyers would discuss it. One said that it was a "far-reaching ruling…(with) unprecedented restriction that it imposes on the ability of numerous individuals to participate in every future municipal election in this state."
Observers have noticed that the high court's willingness to jump in so aggressively on this case is usually a positive sign for the aggrieved. Some see a fairly good chance of reversal in this case judging by the way the court has stepped in to stop printing of ballots without Emanuel's name.