Rahm Emanuel's attorneys have filed their appeal with the Illinois State Supreme Court.
Technically, it is a request for permission to file an appeal. It takes four of the seven justices to agree to hear the case. One of the justices is Anne Burke, the wife of powerful Chicago Alderman Ed Burke, who has endorsed Emanuel opponent Gery Chico. Ed Burke is also the chairman of the panel that decides which Democratic judicial candidates get the blessing of the Cook County Democratic Party -- so a lot of judges owe their election to his support.
Both the traditionally Republican Chicago Tribune editorial page and the editorial page of the Chicago Sun-Times blasted the appeals court ruling that knocked Emanuel off the ballot. The Trib editorial's headline: "Judicial Arrogance." The Sun-Times': "Rahm ruling a disservice to voters."
*** UPDATE *** NBC's Pete Williams breaks down the appeal:
Yesterday's court decision "is one of the most far-reaching election law rulings ever to be issued by an Illinois court, not only because of its implications for the current Chicago mayoral election but also for the unprecedented restriction that it imposes" on the ability of people to run for office, Emanuel's lawyers say in briefs filed today.
The lower court found that while Emanuel was qualified to vote in the election, he wasn't qualified to run, because he did not physically live in Chicago for at least a year before Election Day. Such a finding has never been endorsed by any state appeals court in Illinois, his lawyers argue.
In fact, Emanuel's lawyers say, previous court rulings hold that the residency requirements for candidates are based on the rules voting eligibility. The lower court simply made up a stricter standard for candidates, they argue.
They also claim that the lower court's new standard -- that a candidate must physically live in a city for a year in order to run for local office -- would create all kinds of doubt. What about people whose companies assign them to work for a month on a special project out of town? How about members of Congress who are typically gone for several days a week? Would they be barred from running for a municipal office, on the grounds that they did not physically live in the city for an entire year before an election?
Monday night, Emanuel's lawyers asked the state supreme court to block the lower court's order and direct election officials to keep his name on the ballot. The court has not yet acted on that request.