Court: Rahm Emanuel Not Eligible to Run for Mayor

Just when he probably thought that it could not get much worse than losing to the Packers in a home game, Rahm Emanuel has lost his fight to get on the ballot. The court just ruled that he is ineligible.

He had won below and the Illinois Appellate Court ruled 2-1 to overturn a Chicago Board of Elections decision. In questioning, the judges had expressed skepticism. Justice Thomas Hoffman asked “Can a person dwell conceptually, or do they have to have a place to put their body Can you have a permanent place of abode where there is no dwelling?”

Apparently not according to the majority. You can expect a rapid appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court.

The Court reached the decision despite the following factual findings:

At all relevant times, including the time he was in
Washington, D.C., the candidate continued to pay property taxes for
the Hermitage house, continued to hold an Illinois driver’s license
listing the Hermitage house as his address, continued to list the
Hermitage house address on his personal checks, and continued to
vote with the Hermitage house as his registered voting address. He
did, however, pay income tax in 2009 and 2010 to both Washington,
D.C., and Illinois.

The dissenting judge however add a few facts to support the view of residency:

The candidate initially rented an apartment in Washington,
D.C., but later rented a home when his family joined him during the
summer of 2009. The lease terms of both his Chicago residence and
the Washington, D.C., home coincided with the school year of the
candidate’s children in order to provide the least disruption
possible to their education. Prior to the family’s move to
Washington, D.C., the candidate’s wife and her friends filled 100
boxes with belongings that were then left in a locked storage area
in the basement of the Chicago home. The candidate described the
stored items as the family’s most valuable possessions, including
his wife’s wedding gown, heirloom china, family photograph albums,
an heirloom coat brought by the candidate’s grandfather when he
immigrated to the United States, the clothes and birth outfits of
the candidate’s children, and their school projects and report

The majority found that candidates were given an added criteria to satisfy on residency:

We base this conclusion largely on the plain language of the
Election Code. That plain language limits the reach of the
“business of the United States” exception to “elector[s]” or their
spouses; it makes no mention of “candidates.” Further, as we have
noted, we must interpret statutes “as a whole, with each provision
construed in connection with every other section.” Cinkus, 228
Ill. 2d at 216-17. Section 3-2’s “business of the United States”
exception is housed not only in the Election Code, but in a portion
of the Election Code dealing exclusively with voter qualification,
in fact in an Article titled “Qualification of Voters.” See 10
ILCS 5/3-1 through 3-5 (West 2008). As explained above, the
Municipal Code sets forth two qualifications for candidates: they
must meet the Election Code’s standards for a “qualified voter,”
and they must have “resided in” the municipality for one year
preceding the election. The location of section 3-2’s “business of
the United States” exception–in the Election Code, and in an
article of the Election Code dedicated exclusively to voter
qualification–supports the conclusion that the exception applies
only to the Election Code’s “qualified voter” standard, and not to
any supplemental candidate qualifications located outside the
Election Code.

Here is the opinion: Emanuel decision

On Dec. 23, 2010, the Chicago Board of Elections voted 3-0 to uphold the decision of Joseph Morris, a local Chicago attorney and elections official. Usually a lower court’s factual findings are given great deference but this was a mixed question of law and fact — if not a pure question of law. The court simply disagreed on what is required to establish residency.

A poll this week showed Emanuel way out in front. The problem is the early voting starts in a week and the clerk is going ahead without Emanuel’s name.

157 thoughts on “Court: Rahm Emanuel Not Eligible to Run for Mayor”

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  2. (AP) HONOLULU – Interim Hawaii Health Director Dr. Neal Palafox abruptly quit Wednesday, the first of new Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s Cabinet appointees to leave.

    The reason for Palafox’s resignation was a mystery, and he wouldn’t say whether he was asked to resign.

    Abercrombie’s office said Palafox asked the Democratic governor to withdraw his nomination.

    “Gov. Abercrombie accepted Dr. Palafox’s request and will make a new appointment for the Health Director as soon as possible,” spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said in a statement.

  3. Mr. Treacy if you are still around, it appears that Mr. Evans statement that he misspoke in one radio interview is turning out to be several.

    Quote on

    “I was on 34 radio stations that morning. That [92 KQRS] was the only station where I said, instead of saying, ‘The hospital said there’s no birth certificate.’ I misspoke and said, ‘Neil said that.'”


    Minneapolis station was not the “only” one.

    Evans told the audience of 590 KLBJ in Austin,

    “Yesterday I talked to Neil. Said that he searched everywhere.”

    Evans also told the audience of 94.5 KOOL FM in Phoenix,

    “Yesterday I talked to Neil … said he has searched everywhere using his power as governor … there is no Barack Obama birth certificate.”

    Evans said he was trying to reach Abercrombie after reading an online story in which a former Hawaii election official Tim Adams signed an affidavit that he was told there was no Obama birth certificate in Hawaii.

    Quote On

    “I was calling Neil to see what he thought about that. I never got through to him,” he said.


    The radio statements came on Jan. 20, and Evans was referring to his conversation the day before. The story that Evans referred to was published on Jan. 24.

    Reminds me of a song

    Looking for that good stuff, better tighten up on your back stroke.

  4. The decision was unanimous to reverse.

    Five Justices really, but really, slammed the lower court majority. They landed on them like a ton of legal treatises and casebooks.

    Two Justice would have reversed them more mildly.

    Those lower court justices appear to be toasted, well done, spread with butter and jam, with a fork sticking out.

    Fade to candle flickering out after 15 minutes of brief notoriety.

  5. Now isn’t that something. Excellent work Mr. Treacy.

    So Ambercrombie comes out and says he will do everything in his power to find the birth certificate. Makes a few public comments and states such. Then the controversy in the pot once again gets stirred up. Isn’t that something. Maybe it’s a smoke screen for 2012.

    I think I’d like to see Neil Amdercrombie, Tim Adams, Janice Okubo, Linda Lingle Dr. Joy Fukino all do an interview with the networks, no Meet the Press and have all of the network correspondents asking questions of them in the studio.

    I would assume that Mr. Evans was visited by the SS. They probably threatened him with tortue and he decided to recant because they convinced him they could get away with it. Now he’s sergeant Schultz. Too Funny

  6. That radio guy never talked to the Governor. The Governor never told him there was no birth certificate.

    “Only this I can you tell you is 100 percent fact: that Neil never told me there was no birth certificate,” Evans told Fox News. “I never talked to him.”

    End of story for all reasonable spectators.

    Just the start of a story that will live forever at WorldNutDaily and in the birther blogosphere.

  7. Observer,
    You could be right about the imminent decision by the Illinois Supreme Court. I would be surprised if they have a decision today, but it will certaintly be by the end of the week since early voting is supposed to start next week.

  8. That “suggestion” by the Governor that there is no record of Obama’s birth. Just as I suspected — a total myth. Here is where it is nailed on the web:

    quote] Wednesday, January 19, 2011
    Corsi Puts Words In Hawaii Gov’s Mouth

    Topic: WorldNetDaily

    Jerome Corsi’s increasingly fact-free obsession with Barack Obama’s birth certificate continued on its plodding path with a Jan. 18 WorldNetDaily article in which he claimed that Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie “uggested in an interview published today that a long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate for Barack Obama may not exist within the vital records maintained by the Hawaii Department of Health.”
    Except Abercrombie did no such thing. As Media Matters noted, Abercrombie actually said that he was told there is a recording of Obama’s birth in the state archives.

    Corsi went on to attack and — which have respectively debunked claims that the birth certificate released by Obama’s campaign in 2008 is fake — as “two purportedly independent websites that have displayed a strong partisan bias for Obama.” Corsi offers no evidence to support his assertion of “partisan bias.”
    Of course, WND is a unambiguously non-independent website that has displayed a strong partisan bias against Obama, so by Corsi’s own definition, it — and he — can’t be trusted either. [unquote]

    The MediaMatters link is:

    As MM puts it, Corsi claims that a categorical statement by Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s categorical statement that the state has records of Obama’s birth is actually translates into “Hawaii governor can’t find Obama birth certificate.”

  9. Reading over the last post, the short version is that the Supreme Court will order the election to go on with Rahm on the ballot in order to preserve its own appellate jurisdiction.

  10. That intermediate appellate court majority of two “Justices” is in for a big, fat Illinois Supreme Court reversal, possibly by COB today. They seemed to forget their intermediate role of taking their law from the high court and applying it to the trial courts. They decided to ignore some Supreme Court decisions that had not been reverse, a prerogative reserved to the high court, and struck out on a brave new endeavor to make some new law on their own.

    Their decision is a classic case of judicial lawmaking. If judges are going to do this, at least make these decisions prospective, as Rahm’s lawyers argued.

    The Supreme Court took the case and will decide it without oral argument, on the briefs filed below. Their lightning speed in granting the stay tells me that they will order the election to go forth with Rahm on the ballot. That would accord with the balancing of the equities, the danger of irreparable harm, and the public interest.

    If Rahm were kept off the ballot, the damage would be enormous, since they would have to re-run the election if he were later to be found ineligible. The people would be denied their choice of candidate, based only on a narrow ruling by a non-final lower court. But if the Supreme Court does put Rahm on the ballot, they could reserve the underlying issue for full briefing, amicus briefs, and full argument. If it turned out that Rahm were ineligible, they could disqualify him at that time, and order the runner-up sworn in, or order a new election in the extremely unlikely event that the lower court were affirmed.

    The decision that he could vote in Chicago, but not be a candidate, is inherently unworkable, since the statutes for voting and candidacy should be read harmoniously. Rahm seems to have taken every conceivable step to preserve his residency under the law as he understood it, and as his advisors interpreted it. He kept his house and stored his effects there, and leased it only for a short term for safety. The court’s decision is a classic judicial “gothcha.”

    I think these two intermediate justice just popped themselves way above their pay grade. They are basking in their 15 minutes of fame. The next day or two, however, will see the grown-ups taking over and putting things back in the regular order.

  11. The Illinois Supremes agreed to hear Rahm’s appeal but there’s yet another twist: one of the Sup Ct justices is married to a Chicago Pol who supports one of Rahm’s opponents. Should she recuse herself? If she does, there will be a deadlock, people predict.

    FWIW: I don’t know why people have such a hard time understanding residency requirements. Lots of police departments, school districts, etc. have residency requirements. The Ill Statute is to me very clear. Even the NYT is saying that the statute is vague-hello???? Look in the dictionary.

    Also, no nasty comments please about the appellate court in this case. The majority followed the facts and the law. The dissenter is rumored to be a political hack.

  12. To Tootie and Slarti, Slarti is right about the law as it existed in 1961, but Congress agreed with Tootie’s position and later amended the oppressive and restrictive requirements of the McCarran-Walter immigration law.

    But I think that as a general rule a US citizen who gives birth abroad must return to the US at some time to maintain the citizenship of her child.

    Law Professor Gene Volokh studied this issue two years ago. Obama would not have been a citizen if born in Kenya, although that is irrelevant because the birthers have produced no credible evidence despite years of effort and incredible sums of money (a lot raised from gullible contributors).

    That guy Tim Adams was a temp election with no access to birth records. Everything he said describes what others said to him. It is all hearsay. The truth or falsity of the matter asserted would depend on the credibility of the persons he heard, who would not be before the court. There is no way for a court to assess that credibility.

    The affidavit is unlikely ever to be admitted as evidence in any proceeding.

    Similarly, that broadcaster who said that the Governor said something to him was giving us hearsay. Again, hearsay.

    That news article in the [London] Daily Mail, a long way from Honolulu, said the Governor suggested there was no record, but did not have a quote. Awfully vague.

    I think that in Hawaii there are the original records that the legal custodian, Fukino, viewed, AND the index records that everyone has and can review.

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