Rahm Emanuel
Image: Wikimedia Commons.

Rahm Emanuel, former White House Chief of Staff for the Obama administration, has been declared eligible to run for Chicago Mayor. Emanuel’s eligibility had been questioned legally, and an Illinois appellate court found he did not satisfy eligibility requirements. However, the Illinois Supreme Court overturned that ruling.

Illinois court gives Rahm Emanuel the go-ahead

After a series of court battles, fiery former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has been cleared to run in the Chicago mayor race by the Illinois Supreme Court, according to the New York Times. Emanuel has gone through a protracted legal battle over whether he sufficiently qualified under residency requirements to run for mayor. Eventually, the case wound up in the Illinois Supreme Court, which handed down a unanimous decision that Emanuel was indeed qualified to run as a mayoral candidate. The “Rahm for Mayor” campaign will resume as planned. After the decision, Emanuel quipped that no one would be allowed to use the word “resident” in family games of Scrabble anymore.

Resident Rahm

Rahm Emanuel’s candidacy faced objections from the beginning. When he left his post as White House Chief of Staff to run for mayor of Chicago, many raised the objection that Emanuel spent most of his time in Washington, D.C., and not in Chicago. Furthermore, a law prevents anyone from running for office without having resided in the state for at least a year, which Rahm Emanuel has not. Emanuel was ruled to have satisfied residency requirements by the Cook County court, which was later overturned by the Illinois Court of Appeals. The fight went to the Illinois Supreme Court, which unanimously decided in favor of Emanuel.

Obscure decision clears Emanuel

The Illinois Supreme Court looked to a court decision from 1867, which found that intent factors heavily into establishing residence. Even though Emanuel clearly has resided for the most part in the nation’s capital, he still has every intent on being a resident of Chicago. Also, because he had sublet his apartment but had not sold it, he therefore never intended to to permanently move from the area. Therefore, Emanuel is considered a resident and can run.


New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/us/politics/28chicago.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&ref=us

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