The fight continues today over whether Rahm Emanuel meets Chicago's residency requirements. Of course he does: he always intended to return to Chicago after finishing his service with the Federal Government, which makes him prima facie a Chicago resident. But don't take my word for it; let Cecil Adams explain it:
Let's review. There are two laws applying to Rahm's situation. My friend Greg Hinz says one is a city law and one is a state law. Not so — they're both state laws. If you read only the first one, things look bad for Rahm. Here's what Section 3.1-10-5 of the Illinois Municipal Code says:
A person is not eligible for an elective municipal office unless that person is a qualified elector of the municipality and has resided in the municipality at least one year next preceding the election or appointment.
Rahm did not, of course, live in Chicago for at least one year prior to the election. As one of the petitions objecting to his spot on the ballot states, he moved with his family to Washington, D.C., where he served as Obama's chief of staff from January 2009 till October 2010.
Let's turn to the second law. Chapter 36, Section 3.2(a) of the Illinois Compiled Statutes includes the following provision:
A permanent abode is necessary to constitute a residence within the meaning of Section 3-1 [which says who's allowed to vote in Illinois]. No elector or spouse shall be deemed to have lost his or her residence in any precinct or election district in this State by reason of his or her absence on business of the United States, or of this State.
Does this second law contradict the first law? Of course not; it merely provides an exception.
It's a distracting petition, and the petitioners know it. But every fool must have his day in court. (Cecil supplies a few other reasons why the petitioners might be even more foolish.)