Last-Minute Court Ruling Allows Rahm Emanuel to Run

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Rahm Emanuel will be able to run for mayor of Chicago now that the Illinois Supreme Court has overturned a lower court's ruling that the former White House chief of staff hadn't lived in the city over the past year and therefore didn't meet state residency requirements, the Chicago Tribune's Jeff Coen, Bob Secter and David Kidwell report. President Obama called to congratulate Emanuel. Early voting begins Monday.

"The months-long legal fight did serve to lavish free publicity on a candidacy that needed no extra help, given Emanuel's huge lead in fundraising and his 2-to-1 edge over the next closest rival," the Tribune reports.

What's next for Rahm, and for Chicago?

  • Well Played, Rahm, conservative Hot Air's Allahpundit says.
To the untrained eye it might not seem harsh, but by the standards of legal decisions, this is the rhetorical equivalent of the flipping o' the bird. ... So harsh is it, in fact, that two justices wrote a separate concurrence criticizing the court for being unduly vicious towards the appellate court. ('[T]he tone taken by the majority today is unfortunate…') And so there you have it: Not only does Rahm win 7-0 and get a boatload of triumphant headlines right before the big mayoral debate, he’s actually got five members of the state supreme court doing an end-zone dance on his behalf. Well f***ing played, Rahm. Very well f***ing played.
  • Ouch, Outside the Beltway's Doug Mataconis writes. A "quick read of [the opinion] shows the Supreme Court pretty much eviscerating the Appellate Court majority."
  • What's Next for Rahm? The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza wonders. "Should he win the [mayoral] office, he will almost immediately be part of the conversation about future statewide offices including governor and senator."
  • The Legal Fight Might Have Hurt Rahm, The Washington Post's Stephen Stromberg writes.
Now the question is what this pre-election mess has done to Emanuel's prospects in the race. Early voting begins Monday. Before the appellate court's ruling, he led by something like 23 points. It's possible the recent court action has changed that. ... Some voters will surely end up seeing his name on the ballot and thinking that he's still ineligible. Others may already be reconsidering a pro-Emanuel vote out of renewed concern about his ties to Washington or his absence from the city. ... Also, if Emanuel fails to get 50 percent of the vote by Election Day, he will face a runoff. If he was on his way to a first-round victory before the appellate court's ruling but not now, that could dramatically alter his political standing and, should he be elected even so, the early years of his mayorship.
  • Now About The City  "The maddening thing," The Chicago Tribune writes, "is that we're three days from early voting in the most important city election in decades and we've spent most of the campaign arguing about where the front-runner hangs his toothbrush. And for no good reason."
  • Progressives Wanted a Real Debate, Adam Doster writes at The American Prospect. The end of the Daley regime is a huge deal, but the campaign has been focused on this silly residency issue, Doster says. "Under Daley's dictatorial watch, big businesses have sucked up expensive taxpayer subsidies, Chicago's budget was blown to smithereens, and city officials largely failed to ignite sustainable growth or protect the most vulnerable in struggling neighborhoods. Progressives dying for a spirited debate about how to shape the future of their city, however, are left with a flawed field unwilling to grapple honestly with these pressing concerns. It's a giant missed opportunity, and one that may not present itself again for a long while."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.