Rahm Emanuel Ruling: Supreme Court Will Hear Case, Name Must Remain On Ballot

The Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to hear Rahm Emanuel's appeal of a decision that threw him off the ballot for Chicago mayor.

Supreme Court spokesman Joe Tybor says the justices will hear the case quickly. But he gave no specific time frame.

Emanuel has asked the court to overturn the lower ruling that pulled his name off the ballot because he had not lived in the city for a year. His attorneys called Monday's decision "squarely inconsistent" with previous rulings on the issue.

Earlier Tuesday, the court directed the Chicago Board of Elections to print Emanuel's name on all ballots while it considers whether or not he is eligible to hold elected office in the city. Lawyers have challenged his eligibility on the grounds that he did not reside in Chicago for a full year prior to the election, as statute requires.

Justices did not overturn the appellate court decision -- that case is still pending.

The Capitol Fax blog obtained a portion of Tuesday's order:

"Emergency motion for stay pending appeal is allowed in part.

"The appellate court decision is stayed. Board of Election is directed that if any ballots are printed while this court is considering the case the ballots should include the name of petitioner Rahm Emanuel as a candidate for the mayor of City of Chicago.

"That part of the motion requesting expedited consideration of the petition for leave to appeal remains pending."

Time is a major issue in this case, as Board of Elections officials said they needed to begin printing absentee ballots, which were to be sent out within days. Officials planned to start printing the ballots Tuesday without Emanuel's name.

In their appeal, Emanuel's attorneys called Monday's ruling "one of the most far-reaching election law rulings" ever issued in Illinois, not only because of its effect on the mayoral race but for "the unprecedented restriction" it puts on future candidates.

His lawyers raise several points, including that the appeals court applied a stricter definition of "residency" than the one used for voters. They say Illinois courts have never required candidates to be physically present in the state to seek office there.

"I'm confident in the argument we're making about the fact that I never lost my residency," Emanuel said Tuesday at a campaign stop where he picked up an endorsement from the Teamsters Joint Council.

Emanuel said the order on the ballot printing was "an important first step in ensuring that voters are not disenfranchised and that they ultimately get to choose the next Mayor of Chicago."

01/27/2011 8:19 PM EST

Mayoral Debate

For those interested in the Chicago mayor's race in general, check out our live blog of tonight's debate here.

01/27/2011 7:35 PM EST

Statement From Chicago Board Of Elections:

Statement of Langdon D. Neal, Chairman of the Chicago Election Board: "The printing has moved ahead steadily, working all three shifts since Tuesday. We are well into the process with more than 1 million ballots printed." "It's good to have certainty in the citywide contests launch Early Voting at all 51 sites and start processing absentee-ballot applications on Monday." "We will be giving voters from about 10 wards notices that there are court cases pending in certain aldermanic contests. These notices will remind the voters that they may vote now or vote later, but once they cast a ballot, there are no do-overs. Under the law, voters cannot return to change their votes for any reason."

01/27/2011 7:08 PM EST

Should Be An Interesting Debate..

We will be live blogging the Chicago mayoral debate tonight at 7 p.m. CDT. Stay tuned!

01/27/2011 7:04 PM EST

Obama Calls Rahm

Rahm Emanuel told a group of reporters Thursday that he received a call of support from President Obama following the Supreme Court's decision.

01/27/2011 6:30 PM EST

"Entirely Clear"

More from the Court's ruling:

So there will be no mistake, let us be entirely clear. This court’s decision is based on the following and only on the following: (1) what it means to be a resident for election purposes was clearly established long ago, and Illinois law has been consistent on the matter since at least the 19th Century; (2) the novel standard adopted by the appellate court majority is without any foundation in Illinois law; (3) the Board’s factual findings were not against the manifest weight of the evidence; and (4) the Board’s decision was not clearly erroneous.

Two justices concurred "specially," meaning they filed their own opinion agreeing with the ruling but disagreeing with the reasoning. "The result in this case is in no way as clear-cut as the majority makes it out to be," Justices Freeman and Burke write.

01/27/2011 6:27 PM EST

Heading To The "L"

The Emanuel camp is setting up an impromptu appearance for the candidate at a downtown "L" stop. From a campaign email:

Mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel will appear at the Clark/Lake L stop. 5:15 PM CST Clark/Lake L Stop (lower level) 100/124 West Lake Street Chicago, IL OPEN PRESS*

We're guessing he might be running a little late, but we doubt that'll bother him too much.

01/27/2011 6:13 PM EST

Rahm Wins, Convincingly

"Appellate court judgment reversed; circuit court judgment affirmed."

With those eight words, the Illinois Supreme Court ended a week of drama (dare we say "dRahma"?) surrounding the Emanuel campaign for Chicago mayor.

All seven justices on the Court voted to overturn the ruling kicking him off the ballot. The unanimous decision is a tremendous boon to Rahm's campaign, and sure makes those two appellate court judges look a bit foolish.

Victory in hand, Rahm will now concentrate on the mayoral debate, which starts in less than two hours.

01/27/2011 5:53 PM EST

Oh Lord...

From Rich Miller at the Capitol Fax:

4:44 pm - I’m hearing the Rahm Emanuel decision is going to be handed down any minute now.

4:46 pm - Maybe not. Just talked with the Supreme Court again. Hang loose, but don’t stray far.

01/27/2011 5:41 PM EST

RULING COMING! (For Real This Time?)

@ChiTribCloutSt tweets:

Illinois Supreme Court expected to issue Rahm Emanuel Chicago mayor's race decision at 4:45 p.m.

Four more minutes, people...

01/27/2011 5:30 PM EST

Less Than Three Hours To The Debate...

...and unless there's word from the Court before then, Rahm will be there.

Details on the debate: it'll air at 7 p.m. Central time tonight, on WGN-TV and streaming live at this link. All four "major" mayoral candidates will be there: Emanuel, Gery Chico, Miguel del Valle, and Carol Moseley Braun. Two others, Patricia Watkins and Dock Walls, polled below 5 percent and weren't invited. Hosts are the Chicago Tribune and the City Club of Chicago; moderators will be Micah Matierre and Bruce Dold.

It'll be interesting to see how the residency issue plays out. Unless he gets a big win beforehand, we imagine Rahm will steer clear from it. Or will he take the bull by the horns? Will one of his opponents take a shot at him on it? Either way, should be good television.