Chicago (AP) - Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel asked
Emanuel's lawyers filed the request a day after an appeals court removed him from the Feb. 22 ballot because he did not live in
There was no immediate word on whether the high court would hear the case or when the justices would decide whether to accept it.
Time was running short because the Chicago Board of Elections said it needed to begin printing absentee ballots, which were to be sent out within days. Officials planned to start printing the ballots Tuesday without Emanuel's name.
In their appeal, Emanuel's attorneys called Monday's ruling "one of the most far-reaching election law rulings" ever issued in Illinois, not only because of its effect on the mayoral race but for "the unprecedented restriction" it puts on future candidates.
His lawyers raise several points, including that the appeals court applied a stricter definition of "residency" than the one used for voters. They say
By adopting this new requirement, the court rejected state law allowing people to keep their residence in
Emanuel, a former congressman who represented
The new standard also sets a "significant limitation on ballot access" that denies voters the right to choose certain candidates, the appeal said.
Just hours after Monday's ruling, the campaign to replace retiring Mayor Richard M. Daley began to look like an actual race.
For months, three of the main candidates struggled for attention while Emanuel outpolled and outraised them, blanketed the airwaves with television ads and gained the endorsement of former President Bill Clinton, who came to town to campaign for Emanuel.
Former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, city Clerk Miguel del Valle and former
Even as Emanuel vowed to fight the decision, Braun urged voters to join her campaign "with your time, your effort or your money."
"I'm extending a hand of friendship to all the Chicagoans who have been supporting Mr. Emanuel and all those who haven't made their minds up yet," she said. "Going forward, we pledge to work to create a city great enough to provide opportunity for every family. But we can only do this if we come together."
"I'm trying to get every vote I can from everybody in this city," said
In their 2-1 ruling Monday overturning a lower court decision, the appellate justices said Emanuel met the requirements to vote in
Challengers to Emanuel's candidacy argued the Democrat did not qualify because he rented out his
Emanuel's lawyers promptly asked the state's highest court to stop the appellate ruling and hear an appeal as soon as possible. Lawyers also asked the court to tell
Appellate litigation attorney Christopher Keleher said it's likely the court would rule against Emanuel.
"I can tell you from experience that getting a reversal from any Supreme Court is difficult - even more so when you've got a truncated time frame," Keleher said.
But Emanuel said he was forging ahead.
"I have no doubt that we will in the end prevail at this effort. This is just one turn in the road," Emanuel said Monday, adding that the "people of the city of
If he doesn't win the appeal, the race takes on a whole new dynamic. In a city with huge blocs of black, white and Hispanic voters, the Chicago Tribune/WGN poll showed Emanuel leading among all of them, even though his three top rivals are minorities.
Laura Washington, a local political commentator who writes a column for the Chicago Sun-Times, said if Emanuel is out,
"Rahm has the establishment support, the civic leaders, business community, the money class. And
But Braun would be the big winner among black voters, she said. The recent poll showed Emanuel with the support of 40 percent of black voters compared with 39 percent for Braun, even though two other prominent black candidates dropped out of the race to try to unify the black vote.
But 27-year-old Thurman Hammond, who is black, said he never cared for Braun and planned to vote for Emanuel "because he was part of the Obama camp."
If Emanuel is not on the ballot,
Del Valle, another Hispanic candidate, said Emanuel's quandary bodes well for the other candidates, regardless of what the court does.
"Now voters see there's an opportunity to look at the field and give candidates either a second look or in some cases a first look," del Valle said. "People are going to pay more attention to the other candidates."
Associated Press writers Don Babwin, Deanna Bellandi, Sophia Tareen and Michael Tarm contributed to this report.