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Ill. Supreme Court agrees to consider Emanuel ballot appeal

A lower court Monday threw Rahm Emanuel off the ballot for mayor of Chicago. A lower court Monday threw Rahm Emanuel off the ballot for mayor of Chicago. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Associated Press / January 26, 2011

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CHICAGO — The Illinois Supreme Court agreed yesterday to consider Rahm Emanuel’s appeal of a decision that threw him off the ballot for Chicago mayor and ordered election officials not to print any mayoral ballots without Emanuel’s name.

The justices agreed to expedite the case, but they gave no specific time frame. They planned to review legal briefs only and would not hold oral arguments.

Emanuel has asked the court to overturn a lower ruling that pulled his name off the ballot on grounds that he had not lived in the city for a year. His lawyers called Monday’s decision “squarely inconsistent’’ with previous rulings on the issue.

The moves by the high court bought valuable time for Emanuel. The Chicago Board of Elections had said it would begin printing ballots without his name as early as yesterday, with the election less than a month away. Absentee ballots were to be sent out within days. Messages left for election officials were not immediately returned.

“I’m confident in the argument we’re making about the fact that I never lost my residency,’’ Emanuel said at a campaign stop where he picked up an endorsement from the Teamsters Joint Council.

In their appeal, Emanuel’s lawyers called Monday’s ruling “one of the most far-reaching election law rulings’’ ever issued in Illinois, not only because of its effect on the mayoral race but for “the unprecedented restriction’’ it puts on future candidates.

Among other arguments, his lawyers said Illinois courts have never required candidates to be physically present in the state to seek office there.

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