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What Now Since Emanuel Is (Currently) Tossed Off The Ballot?

Don Rose 24 January 2011 2 Comments

The IL Appellate Court’s decision to remove Rahm Emanuel from the mayoral ballot blew the minds of almost everyone I know in politics or the legal profession with rare, rare exceptions. So now what?

First, the case will be appealed to the IL Supreme Court, which could refuse the case– in which instance all is done for Rahmbo. Going through federal court channels would be next to impossible with the election looming before us: first round on Feb.22 and early voting to begin next week.

If the court accepts the case on an emergency basis (1) it could postpone the start of early voting for a week and have two weeks to review and rule. A side question is whether Justice Anne Burke should recuse herself because her husband Ed already has taken a position opposing Emanuel and endorsing Gery Chico.

If ILSC accepts, it could rule in either direction—keep him off the ballot or restore him by agreeing with the Chicago election board and the lower court. Let us remember, these seven justices are all elected politicians, theoretically quality jurists, but almost to a person they are politicians. Most were been put on the court by machine politicians of all varieties from all over the state—though three are from Cook County. To assume that politics will not affect their decision is to believe in the tooth fairy—though they are not necessarily ignorant nor willfully dishonest.

I do not know how the politics of this crucial Chicago election will play among the justices—I could speculate but that would be silly at this point. Remember, his case played legitimately well in the lower court.

I do believe he could be restored to the ballot in two weeks because a lot of very powerful people, politicians and money want it that way. Not a prediction—many powerful folk don’t.

If he is thrown off the ballot I do not think he’ll go quietly. He, along with the many powerful politicians and ward committeemen on his side, combined with his millions of dollars, could execute a powerful write-in campaign. He has every resource with which to do so and the poll-based support of well more than 40 percent of the voting public.

If Lisa Murkowski had the cojones to run a write-in campaign in Alaska, surely Rahmbo does—and again, he has far more resources at his disposal. Hours of commercials would show you how to do it. (Historically I recall only an alderman or two winning write-in elections in Chicago’s past.)

Then, if he wins, would his victory stand up in the courts? Would the ILSC overthrow the will of the people? More questions.

If, however, Rahm is off the ballot and throws in the towel, look for a massive, massive move to Gery Chico as most people’s second choice. That’s the Chicago way.


Don Rose is a regular columnist for the Chicago Daily Observer

image Illinois Appellate Court, Mt. Vernon, Illinois


  • Dan Kelley said:

    A write-in campaign would be meaningless. Write-in candidates are subject to the same residency requirements as everybody else. Emanuel was removed based upon a challenge to his fulfilling the one year residency requirement to serve as mayor. The same requirement also applies to a mayoral write-in.

  • Bessie said:

    Honestly I think it’s insulting to Justice Burke (and to women in general) to ask her to recuse herself…I am sure she makes plenty of decisions without consulting with her husband…Afterall this is not a very complicated issue…

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