Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Rahm owes it all to a Civil War vet
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Rahm owes it all to a Civil War vet

Friday, Jan 28, 2011

* My Sun-Times column

A month after returning home to Galesburg from service in the Civil War, an attorney named Arthur Smith decided to move to Tennessee.

Smith wasn’t sure if a Yankee could live down South, but he was stationed in Tennessee during the war and he liked it. Smith rented out his Galesburg house, stored some of his stuff with friends, packed up the rest and headed down the Mississippi River with his family.

Smith quickly discovered that the postwar South was just too hostile for people like him. He never bought a house there, refused to vote in a Tennessee election for fear of losing his Illinois citizenship and wouldn’t even sell his Illinois law books because he figured he could very well end up moving back home.

Six months later, he did just that. As soon as the Mississippi River became navigable, Smith moved his family back to Galesburg. Less than a year later, the Illinois governor appointed him to a judgeship.

Trouble was, state law required judges to reside in Illinois for five years before their appointment, so somebody filed a lawsuit claiming Smith didn’t meet the residency requirement.

Does any of this sound familiar? It should. The facts are eerily similar to the Rahm Emanuel saga. A guy rents out his house, leaves town, decides to move back home, takes a shot at political office — and somebody claims he doesn’t actually reside there.

And, just like with Emanuel, a lower court ruled that Smith wasn’t a resident and therefore couldn’t qualify for his job. But in 1867, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that it was clearly Smith’s intent to remain an Illinoisan. He didn’t sell his home, he rented it. He didn’t do anything in Tennessee to disturb his Illinois residency.

It doesn’t sound right to a lot of people today, and a dissenting Supreme Court justice way back then agreed, thundering that Smith moved out of Illinois and that should be all that mattered.

The “intent” standard established by the majority in that Supreme Court case has held sway ever since. Until, that is, Emanuel got booted off the ballot by the appellate court this week. The appeals court used tortuous reasoning and previous residency cases on voters — not candidates — to buttress its argument that Emanuel couldn’t run.

But the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously overturned that flawed appellate court decision Thursday in a blistering opinion that blasted the appeals court judges for overturning 150 years of precedent and replacing it with a standard that the judges didn’t bother to define.

The appeals court had said “reside in” means “actually live in,” but the justices didn’t specify how, exactly, that could be measured. Taken to a logical extreme, if congressmen or state legislators spent months living outside the district doing their jobs, does that mean they would not legally be residents of their districts? It’s ridiculous, of course. Obviously, they have no intent on living in Washington, D.C., or Springfield.

Maybe a case of obvious abandonment of a residency can help clear things up.

A few years ago, former Chicago Schools CEO Paul Vallas wanted to run for office in Illinois but was told he couldn’t. Unlike Judge Smith and Rahm Emanuel, Vallas sold his Chicago house when he moved to Pennsylvania. He registered to vote in Philadelphia and then he voted there. He made his intent crystal clear with those actions, so he couldn’t run for office in Illinois.

Smith and Emanuel, on the other hand, had no intention of ever becoming citizens of another state, and they clearly proved it. Case closed.

If Rahm’s elected mayor, he ought to name a street after Judge Smith.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Pat Collins - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 9:46 am:

    If Rahm’s elected mayor, he ought to name a street after Judge Smith.

    Or buy a vacation home in Tennessee….

  2. - publius - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 9:48 am:

    The intellectual acrobatics of the supreme opinion is appalling. What is the point of having a “business of the united states” or “military” exception if all you need is intent as opposed to intent and physical presence. They ignored three later supreme court opinions-pope, park and clark.

  3. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 9:50 am:

    ===What is the point of having a “business of the united states” or “military” exception===

    The military exception was window dressing. The “biz of the US” and those other cases you mentioned were about voters, not candidates.

  4. - Living in Oklahoma - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 9:50 am:

    That darn logic and reason. I hate it when it works to the advantage of people I don’t want to see elected. : )

  5. - Just Asking - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 9:52 am:

    Was Smith a good Judge? If so, logic dictates Chicago has a bright future.

  6. - publius - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 9:52 am:

    So what supremes said “residence” means the same thing for voter or candidacy purposes.

  7. - VanillaMan - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 9:52 am:

    The Illinois Supreme Court clarification on Chicago residency is a double win for Emanuel.

    1. It got him on the ballot.
    2. It recognized those previously disenfranchised voters residing in Chicago cemeteries who await Rahm’s rule on Earth.

  8. - Just Observing - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 10:00 am:

    I think Rahm’s case was stronger than Arthur Smith. Smith intended to move and make a life in Tennessee but just had a backup plan in case things didnt’ work out.

    BTW… I wonder if Arthur Smith would have predicted people blogging about him in 2011?

  9. - pizzajohnny - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 10:04 am:

    Many people see this as another win for multi-millionaires with multi-millionaire out of state donors and “friends” in the Daley, Clinton, and Obama camps having enough political clout to avoid being held to the letter of the law. That being said, I think whoever is elected mayor will have a rough row to hoe due to the economy and following in the little Irishman’s footsteps. The successor will fail miserably - I hope not for the sake of the people of the state of Chicago - but I think he/she [no way is it a she but have to be pc with all the Dems reading the blog:)]will.

  10. - phocion - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 10:05 am:

    Great article, Rich. Well-written, logical, and interesting. You were able to make a fairly abstract notion understandable for the masses. Good job!

  11. - VanillaMan - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 10:06 am:

    “And they were judged, all these were judged - the righteous and the wicked; those in shoes of concrete in the River and those buried upon the Land, and the Supreme Ones shall determine their eligibility to vote for the one called Emanuel, the Chosen One.” - Revelations 20:13

  12. - Aldyth - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 10:06 am:

    Thanks for the walk through history. Fascinating story with powerful impact today.

  13. - Bigtwich - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 10:06 am:

    Wow. There is no Smith Street in Chicago! Ah! There is a Smith Park! 2526 West Grand Avenue

  14. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 10:08 am:

    VM, are you really John Kass? The resemblance is eerie.

  15. - umm - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 10:15 am:

    ==VM, are you really John Kass? The resemblance is eerie.==

    Might be the best line of the year so far!!

  16. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 10:16 am:

    Speaking of Art Smith, a man named Art Smith (Art’s Bus Service) has been on the Chicago Police Board for years and does not live in Chicago. He receives monies from the City for services regarding his employment on the Police Board. Should he have to live in the City?

  17. - VanillaMan - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 10:21 am:

    I do not read Mr. Kass’ articles. I’m riffing for Friday fun.

    According to the delivery folks for Meals On Wheels, wordslinger needs my little postings to keep his pulse going. I like doing what I can to brighten the day for shut-ins like him.

  18. - mokenavince - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 10:23 am:

    Thank goodness for Rich Miller,clear thinking and writing very tough to find. I figured I only liked you because you were a White Sox fan.Keep up the good work.It’s funny only Ed Burke’s lackeys thought Rham was not worthy.

  19. - wordslinger - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 10:24 am:

    History like the Smith story is always fascinating.

    It’s all around, too. I used to have an apartment near the Arsenal Bridge in Davenport. One day, after living there for months, I noticed a dirty, barely legible plaque bronze plaque on the warehouse next door. It marked the site as the former quarters of Dred Scott, whose “owner” was a doctor at Ft.Armstrong on Rock Island.

    Scott’s presence in Iowa Territory, free under the Missouri Compromise, served as the basis for his suit that culminated with infamous decision by Chief Justice Taney.

    A couple of blocks down the street was the old, abandoned Vale Hotel, where Ronald Reagan lived when he left Eureka and started his radio career at WOC.

  20. - soccermom - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 10:44 am:

    VM, I think your church is using a different translation than mine…

  21. - VanillaMan - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 10:46 am:

    Ballad of Arthur Smith

    Come and listen to a story about a man named Smith,
    Civil War vet that got into a tiff,
    Told by a judge he was not a resident,
    Rich Miller claims his case was precedent.
    (Politics that is, votes sold, nothing free)

    Well the first thing you know old Smith is a judge,
    After the Supremes ruled, he didn’t hold a grudge,
    If Emanuel is elected, it would be kind of neat,
    If the new mayor would give old Smith a street!

  22. - amalia - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 11:03 am:

    oh, thank goodness we have this to talk about. otherwise we might have to discuss the substance of the debate that was televised last night.

  23. - McHenry Mike - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 11:09 am:

    The thing about 150 year old cases, is that they are 150 year old cases. Zorn made a good comment today that the GA should take this opportunity to clear up the law and update it for the modern age. Any one want to take bets on whether or not they do?

  24. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 11:10 am:

    ===take this opportunity to clear up the law and update it for the modern age===

    I wrote about that topic for subscribers this week. It’s almost impossible.

  25. - levois - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 12:02 pm:

    “I wonder if Arthur Smith would have predicted people blogging about him in 2011?”

    PFFT…not sure he even would understand what a blog is and all these new fangled contraptions we have created over time. :P

  26. - piling on - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 12:14 pm:

    Little known fact: Arthur Smith did in fact blog about this, on the back of a coal shovel, lamenting that technology had not yet caught up to his idea of a telegraph-esque system of 1s and 0s that span the globe like a world wide net. He also said the General Assembly, in the 2010 fiscal year, should balance the budget with cuts, not tax increases and predicted the demise of the capital bill on a single-subject violation brought on by the owner of an NHL team. Oh, and he predicted Mike Madigan’s fall from the speaker’s chair in the mid-90s but accurately assessed it would be for only two years and the incident would forever change Madigan, who would never lose again.
    As we are only now learning, he was truly a man ahead of his time

  27. - Esquire - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 12:29 pm:

    Paul Vallas takes a job in Philadelphia. His family purchases a house in the Chicago suburbs. Wife and kids live there. Dad commutes home each weekend and spends time with family. NON-RESIDENT ineligible to run for office.

    Rahm Emanuel takes job in Washington. Leases house to strangers. Wife and children move to D.C. and continue to live there. Emanuel is absent for more than a year and a half. RESIDENT eligible to run for office.

    Different strokes for different folks? Different judges produce different results?

  28. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 12:40 pm:

    Esquire, can you not read?

  29. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 2:40 pm:

    Esquire, my memory is shaky about the Vallas stuff. It sounds to me like you’re arguing a hypothetical case. I don’t remember Vallas actually filing to run for office in Illinios after 2002. Am I wrong?

  30. - Esquire - Friday, Jan 28, 11 @ 4:39 pm:

    He tried to do something, but it never got beyond the exploratory stage. A judge ruled against him, but the residency requirement at issue was longer than Chicago’s. It was for statewide office (governor), but he never got his campaign off the ground. Lacking Emanuel’s wealth, he did not file and knowing that a legal contest was likely and that he would need a court ruling to reach the ballot for governor.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Taking a sick day
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...









* To elites, downstate isn’t on their radar..
* Early voting in Illinois: Good idea, poor execu.....
* Dunn, BOT weigh in on SIU System future..
* McCann joins intense race for governor - Daily .....
* What you may have missed: Blessing bikes, findi.....
* David Giuliani: An unwritten rule in Springfield..
* For sale: The Illinois governorship - Chicago T.....

* White Sox reliever suffers brain hemorrhage during game
* Ramsey Lewis to play Chicago Jazz Festival before retiring
* Illinois universities see rise in union activity
* Astronomical society opens observatory in Central Illinois
* Marker dedicated for W. Indiana's 'Little Syria' community
* Race to raise college scholarship money for Dreamers
* EXCHANGE: Veteran talks about building during wartime
* EXCHANGE: Former Peru resident restores old family tavern
* Motorist dies after driving car off Navy Pier into lake
* Woman gets 3 years after guilty plea in videotaped beating

* Bill: Put therapists, not armed security, in Illinois schools
* Report: Improvements to veterans home could cost $265M
* Rauner's point person on Legionnaires' outbreak makes $20K monthly
* Presidential library publishes digital archive of papers from Lincoln's first 33 years
* McCann to run for governor as Conservative Party candidate
* Duckworth, daughter make Senate history
* Report: Raoul hired ex-state worker convicted in fraud case
* Central Illinois couple suing DCFS over handgun ban at home day cares
* Meet the Springfield Fire Department's first female division chief
* Meet the Springfield's Fire Department's first ever female division chief

* Chicago's largest privately held companies
* Yes, we need the United Way
* Techie Neal Sales-Griffin takes aim at Emanuel
* Corrections
* The 0.3%: Million-dollar earners in Illinois

* White Sox reliever Danny Farquhar stable after suffering aneurysm in dugout
* Tech entrepreneur Neal Sales-Griffin announces mayoral bid against Rahm Emanuel
* Man, 37, stabbed to death during argument in South Chicago
* Police searching for suspects who tried to gun down group of men in Aurora
* After being snowed out, boating season begins with first bridge lifts of spring
* Bolingbrook man charged with seventh DUI following his arrest in Naperville
* ‘Zebra Sisters’ discuss Starbucks arrests, diversity training in Ep. 11
* Man, 23, struck by stolen vehicle fleeing police in Lincoln Park
* Jeb Bush to eulogize mother, Barbara, in private service
* Cubs’ Ben Zobrist to be put on DL Saturday because of sore back

* White Sox pitcher Danny Farquhar in critical condition after suffering ruptured aneurysm
* Trump considering pardon for boxer Jack Johnson for racially motivated 'immorality' conviction
* For family of Ida B. Wells-Barnett, hopes that renewed interest translates into a monument
* Man holding his daughter is fatally stabbed in neck in random attack at California steakhouse
* Armed robbers sought after crime spree spanning nearly 8 miles
* Trump tweets he doesn't think personal lawyer will 'flip' during investigation
* White Sox are struggling, but at least Tim Anderson's energy is a positive
* 4 former presidents among hundreds at Barbara Bush's funeral
* Willow Creek elders will renew inquiry into Hybels as more allegations of misconduct surface

» Official: Pop Tax Repeal Could Mean Late Tax Bills, Budget Headaches
» Casino Sale Raises Questions About A Windfall - Or A Conflict - For Pritzker
» Eliminating Golden Parachutes in Illinois; Children’s Author M.J. Mouton; Illinois Budget
» Obamacare Protection Measure Fails in Illinois House
» State Week: McCann Makes Three; Blagojevich Makes Appeal; Preckwinkle Makes History
» WBEZ’s Chicago and Illinois News Roundup: April 20, 2018
» From Columbine To Parkland: Art And Activism
» Web Extra, The Week in Review: Is there a Newspaper War in Chicago?
» The Week in Review: Dorothy Brown Enters Mayoral Race
» #647 Jason Isbell & Opinions on Cardi B

* Statehouse Insider: Governor's race could set records beyond spending
* Guest View: A nation at risk
* Ed Rogers: Anyone who wants to connect with people could learn a lot from Barbara Bush
* Thumbs Up: To women who break down barriers
* Bill: Put therapists, not armed security, in Illinois schools
* Report: Improvements to veterans home could cost $265M
* Rauner's point person on Legionnaires' outbreak makes $20K monthly
* Guest View: New bill would set a dangerous precedent for cybersecurity in Illinois
* Eugene Robinson: Trump's foreign policy is more like international lurching
* Presidential library publishes digital archive of papers from Lincoln's first 33 years

* Go Red for Women volunteers put 'pursonality' into May 4 fundraiser at Walker's Bluff
* See the map: What Macon County, Decatur roads will be repaired this summer?
* Early morning accident claims Newman man
* What you may have missed: Blessing bikes, finding Harvard, Bergner's closing, youth tackle football, Crossing grant,
* Genesis Health Systems eliminates 48 positions
* 5 Questions with ... Nikki L. Garry, GSI Group financial analyst and Millikin University adjunct professor
* Bill Levanti to be crowned Old King Coal today in West Frankfort
* Playtime with a purpose
* Kindergartner kindness

* Tests reveal White Sox pitcher Farquhar suffered brain hemorrhage
* The Latest: Barbara Bush funeral procession underway
* Man fatally shot in Hoosier National Forest camping accident
* Roberta Flack leaves Harlem awards show after feeling ill
* Assistant ref hit by object in Spanish football

* $13.2M Grant To Help Illinois Stop Vote Ta...
* It's official: If you prepaid your propert...
* Underwood hopes winning primary formula ca...
* House approves Curbelo, Hultgren bill prot...
* After primary win, Naperville nurse Underw...
* Bustos pushes to make 'blue wave' happen i...
* Pritzker, other Illinois Democrats in DC: ...
* This RSS feed URL is deprecated
* HS BASEBALL: Silver Lake soars past East B...
* Rep. Randy Hultgren recognizes Loyola men'...

* Booker, Durbin, Krishnamoorthi Introduce H......
* Durbin, Duckworth demand accounting of All......
* Area US senators' votes on Trump nominatio......
* What's the Deal With Chuck Schumer's Pot B......
* Durbin, Duckworth press Allegiant for flig......

* Few mothers could do what Tammy Duckworth ......
* Four stories that mattered this week, expl......
* 4 stories that mattered this week, explained...
* Sen. Tammy Duckworth bringing baby to Sena......
* Tammy Duckworth's Senate vote with a baby ......

* IEA RA applauds Parkland student call for #NeverAgain. Votes down anti-NRA New Business Item.
* Just white.
* “You can’t arrest homelessness away.”
* Arizona.
* Final Permit Issued, 5050 N. Broadway Is Ready To Go
* Paris. 1968.
* Keeping retirement real. Steelworker dreams and nightmares.
* The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #197: On The Baseball Beat With The Cubs Conundrum And The White Sox Slog
* Weed Week: Get in the mood for 4/20 with these photos by Chicagoans dedicated to legal weed
* Dried scallops the key ingredient in chef C.J. Jacobson's 'Mediterranean XO sauce' [VIDEO]

* IEMA Highlights Role of Volunteers in Disasters
* Governor Rauner activates State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield
* February Flooding Information
* IEMA Urges People to Prepare for Severe Weather
* Governor issues state disaster proclamation for flooding in Iroquois, Kankakee, Vermilion Counties

* Amazon won’t let users review James Comey’s new book if they didn’t purchase it through the site
* Netflix’s Cargo has a few new ideas for the zombie genre
* The Wikileaks Shop says that Coinbase has suspended its account
* Ikea’s first Bluetooth speakers show it’s still figuring out tech
* Ox, the truck that can be packed flat like Ikea furniture, is headed to pre-production
* The greatest resistance to Robotic Process Automation comes from IT departments
* Tech mentorship is a two-way street and here’s how you do it

* Astros romp, 10-0
* Farquhar stable after ruptured brain aneurysm
* Farquhar stable but critical after hemorrhage
* South Side Sox Prospect Vote: Round 16
* South Side Sox Roster Ranking: Round 16
* Astros romp in 10-0 laugher
* Shields, White Sox stumble vs. Astros in opener

Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller