Rahm Emmanuel is In: Former Chief of Staff Gets Swift Justice

By Jason Beahm on January 27, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Well, that was quick. We frequently write about the fact that the wheels of justice turn very, very slowly.

But in the case of former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel, a decision was practically made at the speed of light.

The Illinois Supreme Court unanimously reversed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court's previous ruling and ruled that Emmanuel should remain on the ballot for the Chicago mayoral election. The dispute came over residency issues. 

Illinois state law requires that candidates for mayor reside in Chicago for at least one year prior to Election Day. Other states, such as New York, only require that those on the ballot are residents as of Election Day.

The Illinois Appellate Court's had contended that due to a state code, former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel did not meet residency requirements because he did not reside in the city for at least a full year. Of course Emanuel and his attorneys found this absurd. They successfully argued that residency does not terminate when one goes to the White House on official government business.

"We stayed focused on the concerns of the voters," Emanuel said to a mob of cameras, The New York Times reports. "Not only did the candidate testify that his intent was not to abandon his Chicago residence, his acts fully support and confirm that intent," the Illinois Supreme Court said.

Rahm Emanuel is set to square off in a mayoral debate Thursday night with the other major candidates: Gery Chico, Miguel del Valle and Carol Moseley Braun, CNN reports. The election is on February 22.

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