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The Good Sense of the Illinois Supreme Court

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I have absolutely no opinion about any of the candidates for mayor of Chicago on the merits. But largely for the reasons Richard Hasen suggests, I think the Illinois Supreme Court was clearly correct to reinstate Rahm Emmanuel. Essentially, I think that election rules should (where ambiguous) always be interpreted to permit the voters to decide where possible. So it would be one thing if Emmanuel clearly didn’t qualify — wise or not (and I don’t really see the point of ex ante residency requirements) rules are rules. But, in this case, if anything Emmanuel has the stronger argument — a long-term resident who still owns property and leaves for a temporary job? That sounds like a “resident” to me, even without getting to the rule that holdings that preserve democratic choice are to be preferred to rules that restrict it. I really don’t know what the lower court was doing.

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