The Illinois Appellate Court has tossed mayoral frontrunner Rahm Emanuel off the ballot, reversing the decision of a lower court.
The Appellate Court reached a 2-1 decision to remove Emanuel.
Appellate judges Thomas Hoffman and Shelvin Louise Marie Hall ruled against Emanuel. Justice Bertina Lampkin voted in favor of keeping President Obama’s former chief of staff on the Feb. 22 ballot.
“It’s a surprise,” said Kevin Forde, the attorney who argued on Emanuel’s behalf.
Emanuel’s attorneys are expected to use Lampkin’s dissenting opinion to appeal the case to the Illinois Supreme Court.
In today’s ruling, Hoffman wrote: “We … order that the candidate’s name be excluded (or if, necessary, be removed) from the ballot from Chicago’s Feb. 22, 2011.”
Opponents have been trying to get Emanuel removed on the grounds that he did not reside in Chicago for a year before the upcoming February election. He moved to Washington, D.C., two years ago to work for President Barack Obama.
I would have paid a sizable sum of money to be a fly on the wall when Rahm was informed of this news. As the report says, the Emanuel campaign is vowing to immediately appeal this decision to the Illinois Supreme Court. Question of the day: Are F-bombs persuasive in oral arguments? The election is about a month away.
UPDATE: Here's the ruling.
UPDATE II: Illinois blogger and attorney Emily Zanotti tweets that Illinois' Supreme Court is generally "reticent" to overturn appellate court decisions, concluding that Rahm faces a "statistically uphill battle" to be reinstated on the ballot. Politico's Ben Smith is hearing the same thing. I'd still wager that the high court would consider this case an exigent circumstance and could very well abandon their typical anti-reversal sensibilities. Allahpundit is convinced that Rahm's position on the ballot isn't in serious jeopardy.
UPDATE III: The inevitable Rahm Emanuel, um, colorful language jokes are pouring in.