Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hasen: "leave the question of who should be Chicago's mayor to the voters"

Mary L. Dudziak

Rick Hasen has a sensible reaction to the Illinois Appellate Court ruling knocking Rahm Emanuel off the ballot for Chicago Mayor.  Here's his bottom line:
Today's decision is wrong on many levels. Whether Emanuel's move to D.C. for a year should affect his mayoral chances is a question for the voters, not the courts, to decide. Emanuel's residency is no secret--it has been a defining campaign issue. If Chicago voters don't want to vote for Emanuel because they think he's a carpetbagger (even though this strains credulity given his longstanding Chicago ties), they can reject him at the ballot box. Now, in a nonpartisan election, they'll have to choose among a long list of candidates, none of whom has polled as strongly as Emanuel. Finally, should a politician really face a penalty like this for serving the president? Is it really true that no good deed goes unpunished?

The appellate court's overly technical reading of Illinois law risks denying Chicago voters their first-choice candidate for mayor. For no good reason, the court has thrust itself into the political thicket. If there's time, the Illinois Supreme Court should get the judiciary out of the fray and leave the question of who should be Chicago's mayor to the voters. 

The rest is on Slate.  Hasen's Election Law blog is the best place to follow breaking news on election snafus.

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