Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel will be on the ballot for mayor, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
The court ruled he met the city's residency requirements, writing that "a residence is not lost 'by temporary removal with the intention to return, or even with a conditional intention of acquiring a new residence, but when one abandons his home and takes up his residence in another county or election district.' "
The ruling was 7-0 in favor of Emanuel and comes just a few days after the Illinois Appellate Court ruled Emanuel was not eligible for the ballot. The state Supreme Court ruling reversed that, writing that the Appellate Court used a "novel standard" to remove Emanuel from the ballot "without any foundation in Illinois law."
Emanuel's biggest obstacle to becoming the next mayor of Chicago has been the legal challenge to his residency. Chicago law says that candidates must have lived in Chicago for at least one year prior to Election Day unless called into governmental service. Emanuel has contended that he has always been a resident of Chicago and even if he wasn't, he had been away working for the government.
For most of the mayoral race, Emanuel has maintained a healthy lead over his opponents in both the polls and money. In the second half of 2010 alone, he raised more than $10 million. Earlier this month former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonFederal judge changes his mind about stepping down, eliminating vacancy for Biden to fill Joe Biden's gamble with history Can America prevent a global warming cold war? MORE stumped for Emanuel, who served in the Clinton administration.
A recent poll found that Emanuel had nearly clinched the support of at least 50 percent of Chicagoans. Chicago election rules call for a runoff in mayoral elections if no candidate wins at least 50 percent of the vote.
Early voting starts Monday, and Election Day is Feb. 22.
— This post was updated at 6:18 p.m.