Updated at 2:49 p.m. on January 25.
The Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to review a lower-court ruling that knocked Rahm Emanuel out of the Chicago mayor's race, and said that any ballots printed while the case is under consideration must include the former White House chief of staff's name.
In a quick succession of orders, the state's high court ordered Emanuel's name back onto the ballot, at least temporarily, and indicated that it will make a decision about his eligibility to run for office well before the February 22 election.
The justices said they will decide the case based on the briefs already filed by attorneys. "No additional briefs will be filed in the Supreme Court," the court's order said. "Oral argument will not be entertained."
Less than 24 hours after a state appellate court rocked the city's political world by ordering Emanuel's name off the ballot, the state's justices issued a temporary stay of the order. That will allow ballots for early voting, which begins next week, to be printed listing Emanuel. He is the clear front-runner in the mayor's race, both in the polls and in fundraising.
"The Board of Elections is directed that if any ballots are printed while this Court is considering the case, the ballots should include the name of petitioner Rahm Emanuel," the court decreed. One of Emanuel's attorneys, Kevin Forde, called the decision "a partial victory."
At issue in the case is whether Emanuel forfeited his right to run by renting out his Chicago home while he was serving as President Obama's chief of staff. Chicago law requires that candidates for mayor have lived in the city for at least a year prior to the election.
Emanuel argues that he never gave up his Chicago residency and offered as evidence the fact that family keepsakes were left behind in the home he rented out, including his wife's wedding dress and his grandfather's coat.
"This is an important first step in ensuring that voters are not disenfranchised and that they ultimately get to choose the next mayor of Chicago," Emanuel campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said of the state high court's order.
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