Court: Emanuel's name can't be on mayoral ballot

January 24, 2011 11:29:25 AM PST
The Illinois Appellate Court ruled Monday that Rahm Emanuel is not a resident of Chicago and is therefore not qualified to run for mayor.

The appellate court reversed a lower court's decision from earlier this month. In the 42-page document, the Appellate Court writes, ". . .we reverse the circuit court's judgment, set aside the Board's decision, and order that the candidate's name be excluded (or, if necessary, removed) from the ballot for Chicago's February 22, 2011, mayoral election."

Emanuel is expected to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court. Read the Appellate Court Decision (PDF)

At issue- whether Emanuel should be able to run for mayor of Chicago since he lived in Washington, D.C. for the year before while serving as White House chief of Staff. A Municipal Code says, "a qualified elector of the municipality and [must have] resided in the municipality at least one year next preceding the election."

The appellate court takes aim at the "reside in" requirement of the Municipal Code, focusing on the distinction between being a voter and a candidate.

The court order states, "We believe, therefore, that the initial purpose of the "reside in" requirement for candidates, and the failure of the legislature to alter that language in the current Municipal Code, strongly indicates that the phrase "resided in" as used in the Municipal Code requires actual, not constructive, residence."

The decision goes on to say a candidate "must have actually resided within the municipality for one year prior to the election, a qualification that the candidate unquestionably does not satisfy."

Emanuel said he always planned to return to Chicago and was only in D.C. for the job.

In December, a hearing on Emanuel's residency was held by the Chicago Board of Elections. They determined he met the requirements of a resident and a Cook County Circuit Court judge ruled in favor of that decision.

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