President Obama believes his former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is eligible to run for mayor of Chicago, a senior White House adviser said Tuesday.

Valerie Jarrett, a senior administration official who, like Obama, is from Chicago, suggested the president disagrees with a court ruling that Emanuel's name may not appear on the ballot in a February primary in the mayor's race.


"I think that he believes that he is eligible, and that he believes that Rahm will pursue his appeal in the courts," Jarrett said on ABC's "Good Morning America."

A state appeals court ruled against Emanuel on Monday in a case challenging his residency in Chicago. Emanuel's opponents charge that he forfeited his residency when he moved to Washington to serve as chief of staff, and thus is not eligible to run for mayor. Election law mandates a candidate must have lived in Chicago for a year.

"We haven't talked to Rahm, but the one thing we know is that he will vigorously appeal," Jarrett said.

Emanuel has made known his intention to do just that; he filed an appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court on Monday evening.