* Justice Burke had some sharp words for those who say she should recuse herself from the Rahm Emanuel residency case because her powerful husband is backing Gery Chico…
Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke today rejected the notion that she should recuse herself from deciding on the residency case involving mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel.
“Aren’t we beyond that? Women have minds of their own. We have spouses in every kind of business. Are we returning to the days of Myra Bradwell?” she said, referring to the Illinois suffragette who was initially denied the right to practice law because she was a woman. She went on to become the state’s first female lawyer. […]
As for Mr. Burke, she notes that she also worked for former Gov. Jim Edgar — a Republican stalwart. Her Democrat husband “didn’t like that much either,” she said.
* Meanwhile, a new poll from We Ask America has Emanuel above 50 percent for the first time, and shows that over 70 percent want him to stay on the ballot…
* John Kass, however, thinks the only people who want Emanuel to win are our corporate overlords and does his best today to undermine whatever decision is made by the Illinois Supreme Court…
Rahm has all that big money behind him, that Chicago corporate and business muscle, and more money from the coasts. They want Rahm, and it seems as if they’ll kick the law right in the behind to make him mayor. […]
Now the Illinois Supreme Court has ordered Rahm back on the ballot, pending its ruling. Cudgeling the court to get the political result you want is supremely practical. But it does come with some cost.
It reinforces in the mind of the people that in Chicago, election laws apply only to those without clout. And when you hope to bend the law to suit your politics, even if the politics are the right politics, there’s another cost.
You’re not talking about the rule of law anymore. You’re talking about feudalism. And that’s what Chicago politics is about.
Whatever. If the Supremes side with Emanuel the score would be 4-1 to keep him on the ballot (hearing officer, board of elections, trial court judge and Supremes vs. a bitterly divided appellate panel).
To arrive at their ruling, those two judges — Thomas Hoffman and Shelvin Louise Marie Hall — advanced a groundbreaking residency standard far more restrictive than the one courts have applied for more than a century. That’s right, a new rule, starting with Rahm Emanuel.
In doing so they disregarded several appellate cases that support Emanuel’s position, including one case in which Hoffman concurred. They also ignored a guiding principle of elections law interpretation: It is supposed to be construed with an eye toward allowing ballot access, not limiting it.
Having just tossed the front-runner off the ballot in the biggest city election in decades, they then refused to certify the case as worthy of expedited Supreme Court review. Fortunately, the high court recognized the emergency. The appeal is now fast-tracked.
But now we’re to believe that because he rented out his Chicago home he forfeited his residency — a distinction by the way that is never spelled out in the appellate court’s opinion.
The justices say Emanuel was indeed a legal Chicago resident for voting purposes, but they say he did not “reside in” the city for purposes of being a candidate.
It doesn’t add up to me, and that’s why I’m glad the Illinois Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to hear Emanuel’s appeal and to leave him on the ballot until they make a ruling.
Emanuel’s eligibility to be on the ballot is a question of law to be decided by the courts, not something to be put to a popular vote. But the long history here is that the courts have liberally interpreted what it means to be a resident.
* In other news, Gery Chico has a new TV ad. Rate it…
Woman: “My son Anthony was riding his bike home…when somebody took his life. He was a wonderful boy.”
Chico: “If we don’t fight back for moms and dads of kids who have lost kids to gang violence, we’re not going to be a great city anymore.”
Woman: “We need to work together to stop this.”
Chico: “These murderers, these punks are stealing our children and they’re stealing our communities. We’re going to add thousands of police to the force, we’re going to rebuild community policing, we’re going to take our neighborhoods back and we’re going to be a city that protects its own.”
So far, that’s the most forceful ad by anyone this season and it stands in sharp contrast to Emanuel’s boring, predictable spots. Like Pat Quinn eventually did, Emanuel might want to take a look at his young, bright Internet video guy for a bit of inspiration. This piece was made by Chris Ramirez, who’s just 20 years old, but has a great eye…
- Just curious - Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 12:27 pm:
Wow. Way to dodge the issue and insert the passive sexism charge to deflect from legitimate questions as to whether there is any conflict here. interestingly, despite the improper and crazed histrionics (should a judge be lashing out in such a way when a potential conflict appears? Why impute sexism to those raising the questions?) Judge Burke never denies that her husband may have a vested and financial interest in Rahm being off of the ballot. In fact, by tossing up lame examples of her ‘independence’ from her husband, perhaps she is conceding the existence of some pecuniary advantage for her husband?
Wow! What an appalling comment by Justice Burke. Playing the sexism card to avoid the dictates of Supreme Court Rule 63.
If she were the politician, and her husband were the justice, recusal would be just as required.
And she violated Rule 63 again by publicly commenting on the case!
Boy, did she just prove her critics right.
- Just curious - Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 12:35 pm:
Of course she is only able to view conflicts through the prism of the relationship to he husband: her entire marriage and their eay of life is a conflict of interest. How is it an alderman lives the life of a Fortune 500 CEO and has a war chest that most incumbent congressmen would envy? Take a look at his law practice.
I would have to think that the IL Supreme Court (on which she sits) has disbarred attorneys or levied other sanctions against them - suspensions, fines, etc - for conflicts less apparent than hers appear to be.
- Because I say so - Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 12:36 pm:
I’m guessing the two comments above are from men. I think a lot of women are bothered by the fact that just because Anne Burke’s husband feels one way, she must follow.
Honestly, who cares what John Kass says? I would bet he would vote for Emanuel if he lived in Chicago, just to have column fodder for the next four years.
- Just curious - Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 12:40 pm:
Yes, I am from Mars, and assume you may be from Venus, but how her husband ‘feels’ is irrelevant. He has a strong personal financial interest in retaining his sway over the city council, sway that would be considerably curtailed if Rahm wins.
- formerpolitico - Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 12:42 pm:
I don’t believe a Supreme Court Justice should be talking to the press like this about a pending case! And what is with those Let-Rahm -Run pop-up ads that keep jumping up on my computer? Highly unethical to try to influence a Court this way. This whole thing gets more bizarre every day!
The Trib editorial board’s and Brown’s ST piece. Both powerful stuff.
I don’t know Anne Burke and have no opinion on her past rulings or qualifications. I don’t know the protocol of her “lashing out”. But, those commenting here who don’t see at least a hint of old fashioned sexism in some of the published and aired remarks implying that she’s nothing more Eddie Burke’s little puppet, are obviously not of the female persuasion.
I’m a woman too, and I agree with Anne. Sexism is alive and well in the media.
- Anon. E. Moose - Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 12:45 pm:
I understand that Supreme Court justices are elected and expected to serve; that their duty may require participation when a lower court judge might be able to (and would have to) step aside. Still, I’m surprised that Justice Burke would comment. The Court’s actions this week at least suggest that she doesn’t need to be 4th vote either to take the case or to decide it — either way — so I might have expected her to choose not to participate. I guess we’ll just have to see.
As for Mr. Kass: He’s right. NOBODY else but Rahm Emanuel would have gotten this far on the facts of his case. Ballot access is not easy and not assumed in this state and particularly in Cook County. Imagine a John Smith in a lower level WH job trying what Rahm did, having rented out his Chicago home as Rahm did. This case — ASSUMING it goes Rahm’s way — could set a very interesting precedent that most of his supporters will be adamantly opposed to in all future cases.
- Federal Farmer - Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 12:46 pm:
But I don’t see how the Appellate court is “inventing this rule for Rahm Emanual” when in that ruling they point to a situation where it was applied to a “regular guy” who returned from Iraq and was restricted from the ballot by this same supposedly invented rule.
- Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 12:47 pm:
I agree with increasing police and community policing, but I hope that there’s economic development in poorer areas, like on the far southeast side of Chicago. I keep reading that the former U.S. Steel site will be developed into a commercial/residential area, and that area is hurting for development.
I agree that there is sexism in the media. They are reflective of society as a whole, so how could there not be? But in this case if it was Judge Edward Burke and Alderman Anne Burke the same issues would arise, IMO.
I also agree people who can afford good lawyers are more likely to get a ruling in their favor, but that does not mean their case is not legit.
- Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 1:00 pm:
1) For the record, the Chicago Tribune editorial board called on Burke not to recuse herself. Of course, they did that after making it clear they don’t think she could be impartial.
2) Frankly, I don’t know why The Tribune, Mark Brown, or anybody else is confused by the Appeals Court ruling. Rahm didn’t live in Chicago, he lived in Washington, D.C. He can’t claim to reside in a property where he traded his right to occupy by contract. And while there are precedents regarding “intent”, those precedents predate changes to the law by Illinois lawmakers which leave no room for an “intent” standard. Made sense to me, but then my candidate’s chances have nothing to do with the outcome.
3) Whatever the Supreme Court decides, I HOPE that partisans for ALL the candidates will agree now to accept the court’s decision as the final word.
Finally, the politicking around our judicial system is frankly disgusting. The current court has a long and pretty strong record of remaining beyond partisan influence, yet everyone seems intent on prejudicing the outcome of this case.
Most recently, they ruled unanimously in favor of the Cook County Republican Party and against Chicago’s aldermen.
If you want to see what a political court looks like, take a look at the U.S. Supreme Court: a justice who goes hunting with Dick Cheney just before deciding a case where Cheney’s a party, a justice who fails to report that his wife’s on the payroll of a conservative think tank, a justice appearing at a closed door meeting with the Tea Party Caucus…and the court’s three conservative justices skipping President Obama’s State of the Union address.
- “We Ask America has Emanuel above 50 percent for the first time” -
I’ve been saying all week at work that if the SC lets Rahm stay on the ballot, then this whole ordeal was a great boon for him and he’ll win the election with a majority and no need for a run off.
You just can’t buy this kind of publicity.
There is also the psychological factor that humans tend to want something they are told they can’t have. Especially Chicagoans?
Those people who would never vote for the other candidates but have been irked by the “system” shoving Rahm down their throats might now be somewhat mollified by the fact that the “system” is now trying to tell them that they can’t have him.
For arguments sake, putting aside whether there is an actual or apparent conflict…or even assuming there is NOT one…how is her response in any way reasonable, professional, or I accordance with the standards she is obliged to uphold.
The issue isn’t whether Anne Burke can think for herself about a legal issue (though her comments today proved that she can’t) — it’s about the appearance of impropriety when a family member decides a case in which another family member has a significant interest. That has nothing to do with her gender.
I liked the Daily show bit, it wasn’t too bad. At least it wasn’t SNL taking an entire season and dissing “New Jersey” Ha, Even the real Patterson got into it at the end of his term. Maybe we can hire him to recruit business from New Jersey.
- Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 1:10 pm:
I didn’t want to sound too cynical in my previous post about Justic Burke feeling the heat. I just don’t think she should be pressured to vote a certain way by outside influences.
Ah, Justice Burke, the old “I’m a lady who can think for myself” outrage didnt work too well for Patti Blagojevich. While you may make decisions independant of your husband, the prudent thing to do would be to recuse yourself. Its looking like a lose/lose for you.
- Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 1:24 pm:
The pounding that the Justices have been taking on the Appellate Court and Supreme Court over this case has been nothing short of amazing and appalling.
No matter how the Supreme Court ultimately decides this thing, its stature will have taken a beating as one side or both sides of the debate will scream “politics.”
We’ve seen speculation as to party line votes on the Supreme Court, who owes their position to whom and other matters which quite frankly, as an attorney and as an officer of the court, I find appalling. The tin foil hat stuff has been running wild ever since the Appellate Court decided this case. You can agree or disagree about the majority decision and minority opinion without becoming disagreeable, or interjecting facts, polls, speculation and other matters that are outside of the record they are reviewing.
The job of the justices are to interpret the laws and reach a just conclusion. If the laws need to be rewritten for clarity, that is the ultimate responsibility of the General Assembly. If the laws are unconstitutional they must say so.
Let’s stop blaming the judges and justices for doing their job. The cheap shots ultimately demean our system of justice.
The usual political circus that is Illinois is one thing and is fair game for ridicule. But I as an attorney did not sense that politics entered into the majority decision or dissenting opinion of the Appellate Court justices. What I read was an honest attempt to resolve the issues presented before them and an honest disagreement amongst three justices.
Quite frankly, Justice Burke shouldn’t be talking about the case to anyone outside of her own little legal world of the Illinois Supreme Court. Her response to the reporter’s question should have been “no comment.” It was wrong for the reporter to attempt to interview the justice about a case pending before her.
There. I’ve said it. If you disagree with anything that I’ve posted, feel free to flame away.
Well, Louis, I can’t agree that the Illinois courts have a reputation for being above politics.
I do agree that the Appellate Court decision could just be a disagreement about an obscure and uncertain point of law — except for one tell — the refusal of the majority to certify the case to the Supreme Court. Or maybe two — the delay of the Appellate Court in issuing the opinion, given the timing of the case was also questionable.
As to the Supreme Court, Justice Burke has already tainted its credibility by not recusing herself.
- Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 1:33 pm:
So, if Justice Burke recuses herself and there is a 3 to 3 tie in the Supremes does the Appellate decision stand?
I was on here yesterday expressing sympathy for Justice Burke for the tough spot was in. But now that she’s publicly commenting about a case before her court and obfuscating the issue by crying sexism (which is quite real but not relevant here) rather than addressing the specifics of Rule 63, I hereby retract my sympathy.
It’s sounding like she is not going to recuse herself, which would make it more difficult for her to rule against Rahm, I would think.
The media hype and spin is a direct progeny of the selfsame furor around Bush vs Gore. Politicos have learned that you CAN try these cases in the media. The drumbeat to reverse the appellate court, despite all of their reasoning, is becoming deafening. Even Dawn Netsch got in on the act on public TV no less. It’s going to be hard for the Supremes to avoid reversal. I think they really do listen to public opinion, despite what Lou may want to believe. “Law is politics by other means”, at least some of the time.
How come no calls for Kasper to be removed since he is the lobbyist for the IL Judges Association? this whole thing has multiple layers of conflict of interests that maybe balance each other out in the end. Maybe.
Gimmees — Uh, because the rules don’t prohibit Kasper from continuing to be a lawyer, but they do prohibit Justice Burke from judging a case in which a close family member has a substantial interest.
- Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 2:20 pm:
If this gets as political as it appears to be getting and the Justices split on party lines, Justice Burke will be Emmanual’s only chance.
I could be wrong, but I’m reading Emmanual backers to be in favor of a recusal which could backfire by giving Justice Burke political cover and dooming his candidacy.
PJW, I couldn’t agree more, and I’m a Rahm supporter. Rule 63 is a life-line for Justice Burke. It’s her way out of the mess that this is quickly becoming.
- Cook County Commoner - Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 2:27 pm:
Justice Burke should recall her ethical requirement to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. She would also do well to remember that her election to the IL Sup Ct is inextricably involved to her marriage to Alderman Burke.
–We’ve seen speculation as to party line votes on the Supreme Court, who owes their position to whom and other matters which quite frankly, as an attorney and as an officer of the court, I find appalling. –
Louis, are you shocked to find that there’s gambling in the back room at Rick’s Cafe American?
(Actually, that really works, because Capt. Renault’s name was Louis as well).
Adlai Stevenson III might be able to give a lesson on partisan and personal bias in the SC. As an attorney…. c’mon really? Is your impression that all the elected, partisan judges in this state are marble, blind statues of justice, especially when it comes to raw political questions?
See Operation Greylord. See Robert Cooley’s book, “When Corruption was King.” The Burkes are featured, prominently.
There are several advisory opinions on judicial ethics that say a spouse’s involvement in political activity does not create a conflict for a judge under Rule 63. Further, if it was Mr. Justice Burke and Mrs. Alderman Burke, I doubt that this conversation would exist as there would be a general assumption that Mr. Justice Burke wouldn’t be influenced by his wife. Consequently, while perhaps best unsaid, Justice Anne Burke’s comments do not seem off the mark.
Gumby. You’re correct that a spouse’s general involvement in political activity does not prevent a judge from serving. But where the spouse has a substantial interest in the outcome of a case — such as by being a, if not the, principal backer and former employer of the candidate who stands to benefit from an election challenge — then the judge has a conflict because of the spouse’s activities. Recusal is proper under Rule 63 because of the appearance of impropriety.
- Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 3:41 pm:
Word, I’m saying that I saw no evidence in the Appellate Court decision and dissenting opinion of politics or a political decision.
Perhaps I didn’t make myself too clear. Or perhaps I did.
And no, I’m not shocked in general over politics surrounding judges and their appointment and/or elections. I’m actually *shocked*! :-)
- Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 4:19 pm:
Agreed on Burke. Amazingly inappropriate to comment in any way, shape or form about a hot case she’s in the process of ruling on. Wow. Husbands and wives may have a right to differing opinions, but she and her husband are like two peas in a pod on one matter - they both are completely tone deaf when it comes to ethics and the appearance of conflict.
As to the ads, Chico’s spot is very good - I give it a B+. Of course Rahm’s spots are boring and predictable - they come from that pathetically overpaid and under talented shop AKPD. How many campaigns will they screw up before people stop hiring them?
Thanks, Word, for bringing up Cooley’s book. True they are featured, and not in a good way.
I think we can all agree that Justice Burke has violated Rule 63 as it pertains to commenting on a pending case.
I’d like to think we’d all agree that the same Rule 63 would create a conflict of interest if Ed and Anne’s roles were reversed. That’s not sexism, that’s reality. Whether it would be featured as prominently in the media is an open question.
Finally, I think Justice Burke has her way out - she votes to overturn. If she doesn’t, she will be excoriated in the press and her reputation, such that it is, will be destroyed, and everyone will see her for what she truly is. In the process, Ed is brought down a notch as well.
If she votes to overturn, she can claim her “independence” and keep her stellar rep, however illegitmate some of us may feel it is.
If she recuses, she’s merely admitting to what all of her critics are claiming, and Lord knows, you can’t let them be right. My prediction - she’ll vote to overturn.
Louis- If you truly believe all officers of the court are above reproach, you might be the most naive attorney on the planet. Elections demean the judiciary. And, reporters can ask whatever they like - they’re not bound by Supreme Court rules - it’s up to the Justice to defer answering.
==if it was Mr. Justice Burke and Mrs. Alderman Burke, I doubt that this conversation would exist as there would be a general assumption that Mr. Justice Burke wouldn’t be influenced by his wife==
Agree with D.P.Gumby. If it’s inappropriate for her to hear this case because of her husband’s politics, then it would be inappropriate for her to be a Supreme Ct Justice to begin with. What nonsense, her response was right on point!
- Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 4:47 pm:
Give me a break. She is certainly qualified, and my friends who know her say she’s terrific, but ask yourself one question. Do you really believe she would have been as successful getting slated, elected to the Appellate Court and then Supreme Court if she were married to Ed Jones instead of Ed Burke?
The fact is her marriage helped put her in the position she’s now in. It’s a perfectly legitimate line of inquiry just as it would be perfectly legitimate if she were the all powerful alderman and he were the Justice.
- Way Northsider - Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 4:51 pm:
I am curious about something and hoping someone can explain it. This is a real question - not an attempt to be snarky - and I haven’t seen it to be addressed anywhere. How could Alan Keyes run for Senate from Illinois? He certainly had not “resided” here for a year! I am confused.
If Rahm Emanuel or his staffers were attorneys, they would be subject to disciplinary sanctions for the manner in which they have tried to manipulate public opinion and pressure the tribunal to overrule the appellate court. I am also not too happy to receiving emails containing spam advertising from Rahm asking me to come to his support.
Despite some misgivings, I had been considering whether or not to vote for Emanuel. The unethical behavior that I have observed in the past few days has made me rethink this position. I am not fan of the Burkes, but the ad hominem attacks directed towards Judge Anne Burke are uncalled for.
- Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 5:12 pm:
No, I’m not saying that at all. I’m simply making the point that raising her relationship with her husband is legitimate. I believe 47 made the point that Rule 63 would seem to suggest she recuse herself. She probably would have been better served to avail herself of that rule and also to have not commented on this at all.
Wow! Gone all day and miss a little, miss a lot.
This has been a big news day!
One comment to the conspiracy theorists, the Appellate Court panel produced its opinion and dissent in the Emanuel case fairly quickly. In lesser political cases, the appellate court sometimes issues a brief order setting forth its final ruling and the actual full length opinion is issued months later. Maybe the appellate decision was less than perfect because it was issued so rapidly. The courts reserve the right to revise and correct their opinions sometimes.
The Chicago Board of Elections posted an index of its decisions on the Internet. It is worth noting that other mayoral candidates have been removed from the ballot by virtue of the same law that has been used to raise an objection to Rahm Emanuel. In that respect, John Kass is correct. A minor candidate would have been kicked to the curb without the same media frenzy that Rahm has created.
It would be interesting to know if Rahm’s lawyers warned him about this law as it related to his ballot eligibility and he just told them to litigate it to the max, so he could run. I think that his efforts to move back to his house that blew up when the tenant would not move were an effort to make it look like he was always in the building, but when that failed he hit upon the government service argument that he has been repeating ever since. We may never know the truth, but I think Rahm knew that he had an eligibility problem from the day that Daley announced his retirement.
Came home from work to read up on the day’s news…was a busy say to say the least. We could use some humor, perhaps?
For Rahm-Should he stay or should he go=apologies to the Talking Heads
Gov. Christie=While you may think Illinois is fertile ground for taking businesses, while we may appear to be divided and unhappy about the tax increase, we will not be happy to see you wanting us to move to New Jersery..none of us are tan enough or have hair bumps.
Give me a freaking break. If it were Mr. Justice Burke and Alderwoman Burke that was in cohoots with Chico (or anyone else for that matter), the same amount of people would screaming about a conflict of interest. It’s not sexism. It’s not sexism when people have an open and honest question — that you’ll be ruling on potentially how much power your spouse will have — I don’t if it’s two dudes, two gals, the situation we have or the one I threw out there.
Stop playing whatever card people play when the facts are against you.
Wasn’t there an IL lawmaker from Chicago a few years back who was booted out of office because she did not live where she claimed when she was a candidate? I can’t recall her name, I just recall that she “lived” on the south side.
@Honest Abe in a NYT story this week dated January 24, 2011, Emanuel’s advisers knew that the residency requirement for him would be a problem, but they underestimated how much. They thought that they could get around it with the “service to the country” and intent defenses, which is why they have clung to them for dear life. According to the article Emanuel and his team thought that given his conservative political leanings, overcoming liberal political opposition would be his biggest hurdle.
I’m sure that every candidates who has ever been knocked off the ballot over failure to pass the valid petition signature test intended to get valid signatures. Ok, so let’s make exceptions in their cases too?
My problem with Emanuel and those who support him on the residency issue is that they constantly make false claims, such as President Obama wouldn’t be able to serve under the residency rule, or that the residency rule denies people who have served in the military from voting and other such nonsense. They are purposely trying to mislead and misconstrue, just in an effort to generate sympathy.
If it was okay for Obama to challenge Alice Palmer’s right to be on the ballot by claiming to the Tribune back then that her attempts to subvert the rules casted doubt on her ability to hold office with integrity, why doesn’t the same standard apply to Rahm Emanuel?
Basically he and his side are acknowledging that he is in violation of the residency rule, but they asking the courts to make a special exception for him. He indicated on his own tax forms that he was a part time resident of Illinois and after he decided to run for mayor he amended the forms to read full time resident. His “intent” here has been to subvert the electoral process for his self-interests.
They’re not asking for a special exception. They’re saying he never abandoned his Chicago residency, and he qualifies for the business of the United States exception. To support the former contention, they cited voter registration, driver’s license, bank account, ownership of property, and payment of state taxes. To support the latter, they cited his service as Chief of Staff to the President.
What did he have in D.C.? A job where the average stay is two years, and a rental home. Does service to the President qualify as business of the United States? I think most would say it does, whether they support his candidacy or not.