CHICAGO (CN) – An Illinois appeals court ruled 2-1 that Rahm Emanuel is not eligible to run for mayor of Chicago in February because he is not a city resident. The ruling overturned a judgment by Cook County Circuit Court, and set aside the election board’s decision to allow him on the ballot.
Emanuel has not met the residency requirements for candidacy under the city’s municipal code because he has not fully and wholly resided in the city for an entire year before the election, according to the court’s majority opinion written by Justice Thomas Hoffman.
While Emanuel served as chief of staff for President Barack Obama from January 2009 to October 2010, he stayed in Washington, D.C.
During that time, Emanuel kept his Chicago home, paid property taxes in Chicago, kept his Illinois driver’s license and continued to vote in Chicago, yet he “most certainly ‘lived’ outside Chicago for a large part of the statutory one-year period,” Hoffman wrote.
Justice Bertina Lampkin dissented, writing that Emanuel “is both a qualified elector of Chicago and has resided in Chicago at least one year next preceding the election.”
She added that the majority’s ruling disenfranchises Emanuel and any resident who would vote for him.
“As of the writing of this dissent, there is less than one month before the election and even less time for absentee ballots to be mailed out and returned,” Lampkin wrote. “An opinion of such wide-ranging import and not based on established law but, rather, on the whims of two judges, should not be allowed to stand.”
Emanuel will appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court.