The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who left that position to run for mayor of Chicago, has been kicked off the ballot by an appellate court panel.
The surprising decision comes after Emanuel already won two prior cases, before the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners and a Cook County judge.
The reason for his disqualification is that he fails the requirement for residing in the municipality where he’s running during the past year, as stipulated by Illinois state law. Obviously, Emanuel hasn’t lived in Chicago for a long time, as he’s been Chief of Staff at the White House. He tried to get around the requirement with two arguments: the law allows an exception for “national service,” and he maintained ownership of a house in Chicago that he always intended to return to. The appellate court ruled that working for the white house is not the kind of “national service” envisioned by the law, which was designed to allow returning military veterans to run for office.
Emanuel was the front-runner in the mayoral race. (The really bad news for Chicago is that Carol Moseley Braun is now the front runner.) Today’s decision will probably be appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the new White House Chief of Staff, William Daley, is advised to write his name on everything in the office with a Sharpie, and remember that Rahm Emanuel cannot enter the home of a living person unless invited.