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Expert Unexpert Advice

Response to “And the Ordinary People Said” on Rahm Residency: I Really Hope “Ordinary People” Aren’t This Dumb

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Foolishness

Over at “And the Ordinary People Said” blog on Chicago Now, Marksallen has attempted to string together an argument entitled “Why the Illinois Supreme Court Must Remove Rahm Emmanuel From the Ballot”.  It’s remarkably trite, but I’d like to go through it piece by piece.  I’ll try to avoid being a snob about the parts that don’t even resemble the english language (e.g. “Even in his response to the ruling and throughout this challenge period Rahm Emanuel has offered no respect for the legal anticipated legal opinion versus political opinions saying that it is the ‘public opinion’ that matters over the legal opinions.”) as I’m sure every blogger could be found guilty of such mistakes at some point.

 

His first argument:

A ruling in favor of Rahm staying on the ballot does a disservice to the Federal elected officials, and more specifically The White House staffers who like Rahm went to DC to “serve the President,” and without the same financial status of Emanuel paid two sets of rent for their DC apartments as well as maintaining the costs of sustaining their local residences to the point that whenever they decided to visit their home residence, there was never any confusion of where those federal elected officials or White House staffers could lay their heads. Why should these federal officials and White House staffers pay the expense to sustain both residences to keep their home residence and not Rahm.?

So the argument here is that allowing Rahm on ballot wouldn’t be fair to David Axelrod?  Does this even require a rebuttal?  If so, I guess it would be this: it has absolutely nothing to do with law.  If the people who maintain homes both in Chicago and DC do so because they mistakenly thought they’d need to do so in order to vote in Chicago, that’s 100% on them.  The unspoken premise of this argument is “If someone misunderstands the law and acts based on this misunderstanding, the laws must be applied as per the misunderstanding so that everyone is equally constrained by this individual’s mistake.”  This, obviously, is ridiculous.

And how far does “intent” go when considering the clear “residency” requirements that forced city workers, police and firefighters to actually prove where they laid their heads in order to keep their city jobs?

According to the law, it would go very far.  That said, it’s a lot harder to claim you have an intent to return if you move outside of the city while working in the city.  It’s much easier if you’re working in Washington DC, unless you think that a daily commute from Chicago to Washington DC wouldn’t be all that bad.

Aside from that, even if you take intent off of the table, the Supreme Court is responding to the Appellate decision, which hinged on the word “residency” not meaning “residency”.  The only defense of this aspect of the decision offered was this:

over 30 ordinary citizens offered their objections on Emanuel’s qualifications as a “voter” versus that of a “candidate,”

If we’re going on the law, it wouldn’t matter if every single person in the city of Chicago offered their objections on this subject.

If you look over the rest of Marksallen’s posts, what he’s actually trying to argue becomes much clearer.  He’s arguing that Rahm needs to be off the ballot because Rahm takes votes away from Carol Moseley Braun.

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