Monday, January 24, 2011

Rahm Is Off The Ballot - For Now

The Appellate Court has ruled that Rahm Emanuel does not meet the qualifications to run for Mayor of Chicago.  There will no doubt be a further appeal to the State Supreme Court and I suspect it will turn on the following from the Appellate Court's ruling:

To that end, the candidate argues that, regardless of whether he meets the candidate eligibility requirements of subsection 3.1-10-5(a) of the Municipal Code, he nonetheless may be qualified as a candidate by virtue of section 3-2 of the Election Code, which provides as follows:

"(a) A permanent abode is necessary to constitute a residence within the meaning of Section 3-1.  No elector or spouse shall be deemed to have lost his or her residence in any precinct or election district in this State by reason of his or her absence on business of the United States, or of this State."  10 ILCS 5/3-2 (West 2008).

According to the candidate, he falls within this exception because his absence from Chicago was attributable to his service as the Chief of Staff to the President of the United States.  We agree with the candidate that his service constituted "business of the United States" and thus that this exception applies to him.  We disagree, however, with his position that the exception saves his candidacy.  In our view, the exception embodied by section 3-2 of the Election Code applies only to voter residency requirements, not to candidate residency requirements.  (emphasis mine)

This was not a unanimous ruling.  Justice Lampkin dissented and he is not happy with his peers.

The majority attempts to support its creation of a completely new candidate
 residency standard with an exhaustive (or, rather, 
exhausting) discussion of section 3.1-10-5(d) of the Municipal Code 
regarding the military exception.  The candidate here was not in 
the military and did not attempt to claim an exemption under 
section 3.1-10-5(d).  Nevertheless, while the majority spends five 
pages of its opinion on a subsection of the Municipal Code that has 
no applicability to the present case, the majority does not write 
a single sentence explaining how it defines “actually resided in.”  
It is patently clear that the majority fails to even attempt to 
define its newly discovered standard because it is a figment of the 
majority’s imagination.


How many days may a person stay away from his home before the majority would decide he no longer "actually resides" in it?  Would 
the majority have us pick a number out of a hat?  A standard which 
cannot be defined cannot be applied.  If the majority had picked 
even an arbitrary number of days that voters need not sleep in 
their own beds before they violated this new arbitrary standard, 
then at least we would be able to apply this new standard.  Should 
a court consider just the number of days a voter or candidate is 
absent or are there other relevant factors under the new standard?  
Apparently, only the majority knows but, for some reason, fails to 
share it with those charged to abide by it if they want to be a 
candidate for municipal office.

Stay tuned...........

No comments: