IL Supreme Court to 'expedite' Emanuel case

January 25, 2011 8:57:40 PM PST
The Illinois Supreme Court will consider an appeal filed by Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel -- and ordered his name must be included on printed ballots until the high court rules on his residency.

A spokesman told ABC7 the Illinois Supreme Court said Tuesday it will consider the case in an "expedited manner" and plans to look at the briefs filed by the Illinois Appellate Court. No other briefs will be allowed, according to the Court, and there will be no oral arguments. Read the Supreme Court order on consideration of case

Earlier Tuesday, the Illinois Supreme Court ordered that ballots should include Emanuel's name on them until the decision is reached in response to an appeal filed by Emanuel's campaign after an Illinois Appellate Court reversed an earlier court's decision and ruled Emanuel did not meet residency requirements to run for Chicago mayor.

The Illinois Supreme Court returned the decision on the printing of ballots Tuesday just before noon, releasing a statement, "IT IS ORDERED that the emergency motion by petitioner Rahm Emanuel for stay pending appeal is allowed in part. The appellate court decision is stayed. The Board of Elections is directed that if any ballots are printed while this Court is considering this case, the ballots should include the name of petitioner Rahm Emanuel as a candidate for Mayor of the City of Chicago. That part of the motion requesting expedited consideration of the petition for leave to appeal remains pending." Read the Illinois Supreme Court Order

That order led the Chicago Board of Elections to stop its presses just before noon after printing more than 300,000 ballots. They will resume Tuesday afternoon with Emanuel's name on the ballot.

"We called the printer, Lake County Press, and essentially told them 'stop the presses,'" said Chairman Langdon Neal of the Chicago Board of Elections. "They're re-formatting the ballot to include the name of Rahm Emanuel."

Emanuel insisted Tuesday that he is winning his case in the court of public opinion. His supporters are demanding the Supreme Court justices restore their candidate's ballot status.

"The position that we have taken is that working for President Obama does not mean that I gave up my residency," said Emanuel.

"I don't think its partisan by any stretch of the imagination. It's truly a question of law if each individual justice will go go by that," said Prof. Lance Northcutt, John Marshall Law School.

The court has given no indication how soon it might rule. The election board chairman conceded that when early voting begins its 18-day run next week, those who make Emanuel their choice before his status is resolved will do so at their own risk.

"There are no do-overs. Once you vote, that's it," said Neal.

Emanuel's appeal with the Supreme Court

The appeal filed by Emanuel's lawyers calls the appellate court's decision "one of the most far-reaching election law rulings ever to be issued by an Illinois court, not only because of its implications for the current Chicago mayoral election, but also for the unprecedented restriction that it imposes on the ability of numerous individuals to participate in every future municipal election in this state." Read Emanuel's Appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court

The appellate court's majority decision Monday ruled Emanuel gave up his Chicago residency when he moved to Washington, D.C., to be the White House chief of staff. Read the Court of Appeals Ruling

Emanuel contends he always intended to move back to Chicago, which is why he rented out his home and didn't sell it. The Chicago Board of Elections sided with Emanuel after a December hearing and a Cook County Circuit Court judge ruled he did meet the "resides in" requirement outlined in the Municipal Code.

The appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court lays out six points of argument:

1. The appellate decision is inconsistent with previous rulings that have determined residency

2. The rule used by the appellate court to define residency has not been used by another appellate court

3. The appellate ruling differentiates between voting rights and candidacy rights, which the Emanuel appeal claims to be unjust

4. The Emanuel campaign believes the appellate court misinterpreted the phrase "has resided in"

5. Emanuel's lawyers argue the appellate court is overturning the previous residency requirements

6. The ruling violates the rights of those "called to serve their national government"

"The public knows what makes sense, and they think I have the right to run, and they have a right to choose whether to support me or not," Emanuel said.

Emanuel continues campaign, picks up endorsement

Emanuel picked up a major endorsement Tuesday morning. The Teamsters Joint Council 25, with about 30,000 members in Chicago, endorsed him for mayor at Panama Banana, a produce distribution center on the West Side.

"Today, the Teamsters endorsed Rahm Emanuel for mayor of the city of Chicago," said John Coley, president, Teamsters Joint Council 25. "There's two appellate court judges that are subverting democracy not only for the 55 percent of Teamsters that support Rahm but for the millions of people in Chicago that are going to vote for him."

"I'm honored by the endorsement because Teamsters are a strong voice for their families. When I've been telling John, we're gonna have changes, what I like about his leadership, he understood that to meet the challenge of change you need a level of strength, determination, grit and resilience," Emanuel said. "In the end, we will be on the ballot so people have that option to vote."

What if Emanuel is not on the ballot?

"We'll cross that bridge when we come there," Coley said. "I'm an attorney. I've read the opinion. I think it's a flawed opinion. I think Rahm is going to be successful. And we are not about to back down from a fight. Teamsters are gonna be with Rahm to the bitter end."

An attorney for Emanuel said if Emanuel doesn't ultimately make it on the ballot, he will most likely not run as a write-in candidate.

New poll comes out

A new poll of 2,300 people conducted for the Chicago Retail Merchants Association asked people whether they think Emanuel's should stay on the ballot. Seventy-one-and-a-half percent said 'yes' while just over 22 percent said 'no.'

The survey for the Merchants Association, which has not endorsed any candidate, found if Emanuel is kicked out of the race, Gery Chico becomes voters' preference with 33 percent support to Carol Moseley Braun's 17 percent.