The Chicago Way — Rahm Emanuel’s Back On The Ballot

The opinion of the Illinois Supreme Court is here

It holds that “reside in” means the same thing as “residence.”  “Thus, in assessing whether the candidate has established residency, the two required elements are: (1) physical presence, and (2) an intent  to remain in that place as a permanent home. Once residency is established, the test is no longer physical presence but rather abandonment, the presumption is that residency continues, and the burden of proof is on the contesting party to show that residency has been abandoned.”

 The case is a real smack-down of the panel that kicked Rahm off the ballot:

Before proceeding to the merits, we wish to emphasize that, until just a few days ago, the governing law on this question had been settled in this State for going on 150 years. . . . 

Thus, from April 1867 through January 24 of this year, the principles governing the question before us were settled. Things changed, however, when the appellate court below issued its decision and announced that it was no longer bound by any of the law cited above, including this court’s decision in Smith, but was instead free to craft its own original standard for determining a candidate’s residency. . . .

Thus, our review of the appellate court’s decision in this case begins not where it should, with an assessment of whether the court accurately applied established Illinois law to the particular facts, but with an assessment of whether the appellate court was justified in tossing out 150 years of settled residency law in favor of its own preferred standard. We emphatically hold that it was not. . . .

So there will be no mistake, let us be entirely clear. This court’s decision is based on the following and only on the following: (1) what it means to be a resident for election purposes was clearly established long ago, and Illinois law has been consistent on the matter since at least the 19th Century; (2) the novel standard adopted by the appellate court majority is without any foundation in Illinois law; (3) the Board’s factual findings were not against the manifest weight of the evidence; and (4) the Board’s decision was not clearly erroneous.

Ouch.  That’ll leave a mark.  You almost never see a higher court go after a lower court like this.

UPDATE: The opinion is the judicial equivalent of this, from the movie Billy Madison:

[Supreme Court]: [Court of Appeals], what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

[Court of Appeals]: Okay, a simple “wrong” would’ve done just fine.

UPDATE II: Allahpundit sums things up:

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.

Indeed.

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Published in: on January 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

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