Court Tosses Rahm Emanuel From Chicago Mayoral Ballot

UPDATED 01/24/11 5:30 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Illinois Appellate Court has tossed mayoral front-runner Rahm Emanuel off the ballot, reversing the decision of a lower court.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports

Appellate judges Thomas Hoffman and Shelvin Louise Marie Hall ruled against Emanuel, while Justice Bertina Lampkin voted in favor of keeping President Obama’s former chief of staff on the Feb. 22 ballot.

Emanuel’s lawyers filed an emergency motion Monday asking the Illinois Supreme Court to stay the appellate ruling and to hear an appeal as soon as possible. Lawyers also asked the high court to tell Chicago election officials to keep his name on the ballot if it starts to print them. But after the lower court decision, Langdon Neal, chairman for the Chicago Board of Elections, said the ballots will now be printed without Emanuel’s name.

“We’re going to press with one less candidate for mayor,” he said in a statement. Neal said the elections agency would react accordingly to any supreme court decisions.

Emanuel, for his part, kept campaigning aggressively.  He said he believes the people of Chicago “deserve the right” to pick whom they want for mayor, and that he believes the law is on his side.

“I think fundamentally, when a president asks you to serve the country, as his chief of staff, that’s part of serving your country, and I have no doubt that we will in the end prevail at this effort,” Emanuel said. “As my father used to say, nothing’s ever easy in life.”

Emanuel said it’s a hopeful sign that the appellate court’s dissent opinion was “pretty strong.”

Meanwhile, in editorials, Chicago’s two major daily newspapers blasted the 2-1 appellate court decision. The Chicago Tribune urged the Supreme Court to get Emanuel back on the ballot.

One of Emanuel’s opponent said he was surprised by the decision but said it won’t change the focus of his campaign.

“We are going to run on the issues,” Gery Chico said. “We going to talk about better schools, jobs and safe neighborhoods.”

Carol Moseley Braun echoed a similar theme.

“Today’s decision is a major milestone for our campaign,” she said. “But the decision doesn’t make one neighborhood safer, one senior more secure, one child better educated, or give one unemployed person a job.”

“This opens things up,” a third major candidate, Chicago City Clerk Miguel del Valle, said. “And for those who thought Rahm Emanuel’s election was a foregone conclusion, now the voters are really going to have an opportunity to choose the next mayor of the city of Chicago.”

Opponents have been trying to get Emanuel removed on the grounds that he did not reside in Chicago for a year before the upcoming February election. He moved to Washington, D.C., two years ago to work for President Barack Obama.

But Emanuel’s legal team has argued that he always intended to return to Chicago, noting that he maintained ownership of his Ravenswood home.

The Appellate Court concluded that Emanuel’s claims of intent to return were not enough.

“Based on the foregoing analysis, we conclude that… a candidate must meet not only the Election Code’s voter residency standard, but also must have actually resided within the municipality for one year prior to the election, a qualification that the candidate unquestionably does not satisfy,” the court wrote.

Illinois state law says a candidate for mayor is required to have lived in the municipality where he is running for at least one year prior to the election. But Emanuel’s team has argued that exceptions can be made for national service.

The court agreed that Emanuel’s reason for leaving Chicago constituted “business of the United States,” but argued that this still did not qualify him for the ballot.

“In our view, the exception… applies only to voter residency requirements, not to candidate residency requirements,” the court wrote.

A hearing officer, the full Chicago Board of Elections, and a Cook County Circuit Court judge ruled earlier that Emanuel is eligible to run for mayor.

In today’s ruling, Hoffman wrote: “We … order that the candidate’s name be excluded (or if, necessary, be removed) from the ballot from Chicago’s Feb. 22, 2011.”

In ruling in favor of Emanuel earlier this month, Cook County Circuit Court Associate Judge Mark Ballard agreed that Emanuel kept his residency in Chicago, ruling that “it didn’t matter” that he went to D.C. to work for Obama.

Chicago Congressman Luis Gutierrez, no fan of Emanuel, called Monday’s ruling a taste of Emanuel’s own medicine.

“Rahm Emanuel’s been one of the most cutthroat political operatives ever seen in the United States of America, and he used the same system for himself. He thought it was good then, and it’s good today,” Gutierrez told CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine.

A recent poll showed Emanuel leading the pack of mayoral candidates with 44 percent support, compared with 21 percent for Moseley Braun, 16 percent for Chico, 7 percent for del Valle, and 9 percent are undecided.

Emanuel has also received the support of heavy-hitters such as former President Bill Clinton.

The Sun-Times Media Wire and Associated Press contributed to this report.

More from Craig Dellimore
  • court tosses emanuel off ballot

    […] […]

  • JA

    It won’t stick; but how nice it would be if it did.

  • Rahm's tutu

    Ballerina boy hardest hit.

  • Appeals Court Tosses Rahm Emanuel Off Chicago Ballot

    […] latest round in the legal fight over whether Rahm Emanuel is eligible to run for Mayor of Chicago didn’t go so well for the former Chief of Staff: The Illinois Appellate Court has tossed mayoral frontrunner Rahm Emanuel off the ballot, reversing […]

  • Steven Dufresne

    Next ObamaCare! Bwahahaha! LOL! LMAO!

  • Jay

    We’ll he needs to appeal it to the IL Supreme Court; that’ll be the final say.

  • GardenoftheGods

    Finally! A court that upholds the LAW! What’s happening to Chicago’s political ooze?

    • Squiggy

      The law? In Chicago? Hahahaha.

      Thanks for the laugh dude.

    • Donna L. Bronke

      About time that a court finally woke up and held to the Law in Illinois that states YOU MUST LIVE HERE FOR ONE YEAR not that you intended to live here!! That’s just nuts. as far as paying taxes here. hell you can live in any other states and still pay taxes on a home here, .. so………again has nothing to do with you LIVING here. and I don’t care if you worked for the king of the middle east…. you were STILL NOT LIVING HERE!! DUGH!

      • tim maguire

        Why? Is every single serviceman running for mayor of Chicago. It’s hard to see how moving to Washington for a government job constitutes the business of the United States. If it were an elective office, maybe, but it’s not. If he went to Washington to become a security guard for the parks department his argument would be exactly the same, but would it convince anybody? His case would be stronger if he hadn’t rented out his house, but he did. He’s not a Chicago resident.

      • Carl Bryan

        Good call, make sure you tell that to every single serviceman coming back from overseas.


  • don

    Yeah!!! The legislature has finally done something the people want!!! Watch out politicians..we are watching

    • Learn about government

      YEAH!!!! The judges re totally part of the legislature! And you TOTALLY had direct impact on this case!!! And people in the burbs have tons of say about Chicago politics!!!! THE SYSTEM WORKS!!!! WOOO-HOOO!!!!

  • Jason Wallis

    Just when I think that activist judges can’t get sink any lower, they go and do something like this………………..AND TOTALLY REDEEM THEMSELVES.

    • The Animal

      Jason, thank you. That’s the best laugh I have had in a week.

    • Scott

      so the other candidates couldn’t beat his politics so they did they only thing they could, become a bunch of pansies and get him thrown off the ballot.

      • d1st

        Man, that sounds exactly like a prior Chicago politician’s method. Hey, it was Obama who did that a couple times.

      • Dan in St louis

        That’s the Chicago way…its the same thing Obama did to get his State Senate seat…look it up. Waaaaa.

      • Squiggy

        Yeah. how dare someone go to the courts to uphold the law?

        It didn’t work for Gore, but he wanted the courts to change the law.

      • NeoCon1

        Yo, Scott. Rahman isn”t eligible. What’s the problem understanding this??

      • freeindeed

        that’s exactly what happened. another low down dirty tactic between the low down dirty politicians. These people are not interested in serving the people of chicago, they are only out to serve themselves. wake up chicago. the same mess over and over and over……….

    • Squiggy


  • furry kittens

    ROFLMFAO!!! The Chicago machine ain’t working the way it’s supposed to!

  • Rahm off ballot in Chi town... - Southern Maryland Community Forums

    […] […]

  • Never waste an Opportunity to Gloat


    -Brooklyn, NY

  • green

    Please keep him off the ballot, all he wants is to be like Daley, let’s get somebody who cares about Chicago.

    • brian

      yeah enjoy Braun you loser. I’ll be laughing from my home in the burbs watching that bozo run the city to the ground.

  • Todd

    I think the same consertative wing-nut posted all the above messages under different names.

    • Wil

      So typical of a hate-filled, irrational liberal -. Avoid the topic at hand, and instead call other people names, who have made legitimate points and arguments.

    • Major Domo

      Yeah…just like left wingnuts do.

    • Squiggy

      Did you say ‘consertative wingnut’? yeah. that’s just more stupider, aint it?

  • CJChicago

    How stupid are Chicagoans. They had a Democratic party mayor for how long? and is the city better off today? are the schools, streets, taxes, anything better today? NO!!!!! Democrats control most of the largest city in the Union and they are full of crime, despite the idiotic anti-gun laws, schools are a disaster full of poorly educated teachers which obviously translates to poorly educated children. Cook Count and Chicago have some of the highest taxes in the USA, people complain about it, yet they keep on electing individuals that will raise taxes. Rahm Emanuel is one corrupt individual and he will make Chicago even worse than what it already is. Let’s hope he stays off the ballot for good!

    • Tom

      Great post! Totally agree… And I’m a Chicagoan!

    • Exactly!!

      Been asking myself that for years!!!! How stupid are the voters of IL?? Look at this moron they elected gov.!!! Plain and simple (and sorry) facts are that ANY state, city, with strong ties to “extortionist” labor will vote democratic. Look what happens in DC with the unions!!!

    • Marvin the Mavin

      Delusional? You need help!

  • Jeff Cimoch

    Now, all that millions in money his co-horts including “the bj.” klinton, and “the donald” trump raised in support of his election, uh, Who gets that?

  • Susan

    Agreed Todd. To all those Bush-loving, teapartyers in the suburbs – stop posting about our mayoral election!

    • West Town

      60622 and Lovin’ It, Suzy.

    • "Never waste an Opportunity to Gloat"

      But Todd is claiming it was only ONE person above Susan.

      God liberals are DUMB!

    • Lala

      Susan wants the gov’t to give her money out of our paychecks. Why are liberals so lazy? Why are they always trying to take other peoples’ money?

    • See How Easy It Is?

      I think “Todd” and “Susan” is the same, progressive, left-wing nut-job posting under different names.

      • Squiggy

        It just depends on which personality is in control at that particular time.

        Why can’t these people with multiple personalities ever have ONE sane personality?

      • Linz

        Todd gets the blonde wig on even days…..Susan (Sybil) gets it on odd ones. It’s the redistribution of glamour that libs long for.

    • Cubbie

      What about their right to free speech. Susan? Oh, silly me, I forgot. Liberals only natter about free speech when somebody is saying something agrees with their point of view.

      • JA

        Linz, you might be shocked to know that “natter” is actually an honest-to-goodness word, and that Cubbie used it correctly.

        Now, to which of Cubbie’s parents’ basements were you referring–and how do you know they don’t live together?

      • Linz

        I agree totally! Liberals only natter about free speech. Well put…good boy….now go back to your room in your parent’s basement, and learn to construct a complete coherent sentence.

      • Cubbie


        I’d hate to see you be an ass who jumps to conclusions alone so I’ll do it with you. Be a good girl and go back to rubbing your daddy’s junk.

    • d1st


  • Robert Girrard

    Looks like the rahmEN is in the hot water!!!
    Check this out:

    • Laura

      HAHAHA Thanks for sharing – that site is hilarious! It also shows what a bully he is

  • Watcher1

    Jay Levine will need a new @$$ to kiss!

    • LOL

      Great post!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Nice Touch

    Carol Mausley Brown must be having a field day today!

    • Lori Thompson

      If she is, I hope it’s on the level of how to use proper grammar, keep the weave out as a Mayoral potential and last, to stop being outright “GHETTO” when someone talks to her. Attitude is something that Carol need to have adjusted!

  • GarandFan

    “It’s a surprise,” said Kevin Forde, the attorney who argued on Emanuel’s behalf.

    Yeah, ’cause “Da FIX was in!”

  • Jerome

    What I don’t understand is why can’t the public decide? We’re wasting tax money on court battles, let the citizens of Chicago decide. If we don’t want him as mayor, we won’t vote for him. If we do, we sill, it’s that simple. This is such political BS and the courts have no business being involved. This is simply the perversion of law, fostered by those who can’t have they’re way.

    • J.D.

      Jerome, the legislative branch in Illinois passed a law — the court is simply making sure it’s followed. If you don’t like the law, then change it. Really simple. Rahm has been living out of the state for the past year.

      • Jerome

        As I said, this is a waste of time. If the people didn’t want him, they wont elect him. Plain and simple.

    • Major Domo

      Because, Jerome, look what happened when the public decided.

    • G-man

      you cry like a little girl when you libs can’t have your way….well get use to it. The law is the law. But you have been breaking since you were a little one I bet!

    • arnie els

      He is not qualified! It would affect the proper result as should be expected by the qualified candidates. Or maybe we should let Bill Clinton and the Donald decide. Please don’t let them Rahm it up your @ss or to use the Clinton method, Rahm it down your throat.

  • Amy

    Yeah, you all know best. Let the ignorant self indulged woman win!

  • Laura


    Chico is the BEST choice for mayor. Look at his track record and experience.

  • mike

    There is no Rham in the mayor’s race!

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