The former White House chief of staff was thrown off the Feb. 22 ballot by an Illinois appellate court for not meeting a residency requirement because he hadn’t lived in Chicago for a year before the race. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in his favor.
Emanuel lived for nearly two years in Washington working for President Barack Obama until he moved back to Chicago in October to run for mayor.
Emanuel, who has said he always intended to return to Chicago and was only living in Washington at the request of the president, had asked the Supreme Court to overturn the appeals court ruling. Within minutes of the ruling, Emanuel was at a downtown Chicago public transit station shaking hands with residents.
He never stopped campaigning as the controversy evolved. His spokesman said Emanuel was en route to the campaign appearance when he received word of the ruling and was scheduled to participate in televised debate Thursday evening.
In their appeal, Emanuel’s attorneys called Monday’s appeal court 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 raised 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.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court called the appeals court’s basis for deciding that Emanuel could not be on the ballot “without any foundation in Illinois law.” More…