Maksym v. Board of Election Commissioners of the City of Chicago

242 Ill. 2d 303 (2011)

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Maksym v. Board of Election Commissioners of the City of Chicago

Illinois Supreme Court
242 Ill. 2d 303 (2011)

Facts

In 1998, Rahm Emanuel, the former United States Representative for Illinois’s fifth congressional district, purchased a Chicago home, and he lived there consistently until January 2009. In January 2009, after being appointed to serve as the chief of staff for President Barack Obama, an inherently temporary position, Emanuel rented and moved into a home in Washington, D.C. (the D.C. home). Emanuel rented the D.C. home through June 2011, the latest expected end date for his term as chief of staff. After Emanuel’s family moved to join him in June 2009, Emanuel rented out the Chicago home through June 2011. Because the move to Washington, D.C., was temporary, Emanuel and his family left most of their personal belongings and furniture in their Chicago home. Emanuel continued to list the Chicago home as his permanent residence. In October 2010, Emanuel resigned as chief of staff and moved back to Chicago. Emanuel subsequently registered as a candidate for the February 2011 Chicago mayoral election. Walter Maksym, Jr. (plaintiff) filed a written objection to Emanuel’s candidacy with the Board of Election Commissioners of the City of Chicago (the board) (defendant), arguing that Emanuel failed to meet the residency requirement for the mayoral office because Emanual had not been a Chicago resident for a period of at least one year immediately preceding the February 2011 election. The board rejected Maksym’s challenge, holding that Emanuel never abandoned his Chicago residence because his move to Washington, D.C., was always intended to be temporary. On appeal, the circuit court affirmed. Maksym appealed, and the appellate court reversed, holding that residency was determined by where the candidate actually lived during the relevant period, not by the candidate’s permanent abode. The board appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Thomas, J.)

Concurrence (Freeman, J.)

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