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Chicagoans Sound Off On Emanuel Ruling

UPDATED 01/28/11 5:46 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Rahm Emanuel's residency issue has been decided once and for all, and Chicagoans are sounding off on the issue.

As CBS 2's Susanna Song reports, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Emanuel may remain on the ballot.

The unanimous decision by the seven-justice body reversed a decision by the Illinois Appellate Court, which ruled that Emanuel did not meet the residency requirements to run for mayor in the Feb. 22 election.


The high court -- four Democrats and three Republicans -- criticized the Appellate Court ruling that found Emanuel should be knocked off the ballot, saying "The appellate court's residency analysis remains fundamentally flawed."

Early Friday morning at the Hollywood Grill, 1601 W. North Ave., everyone who talked to CBS 2 spoke in support of the Supreme Court's ruling.

"I think it's fair, and I think it's good," Chicago voter Dino Carbellus said. "He deserves a chance like everyone else. He's a resident. He proved he's a resident. Sometimes these things get misconstrued in court. I think it's clear now."

"Just because he was in Washington for that little bit of time, you know, he was still coming back home," said Chicago voter Garry Bray. "He wasn't really gone that long."

Meanwhile, Emanuel's opponents said in a live debate on WGN-Channel 9 Friday night that they were not moved one way or another by the residency roller coaster.

"I don't question the ruling of the court. The court's ruling stands, and the fact is that the field hasn't changed. We're all still in this, and we're all trying to get our message out," said candidate Carol Moseley Braun.

"I believe in ballot access, and I have never challenged anyone in my career, including Rahm," said candidate Gery Chico.

Emanuel himself also said at the debate that it was time to move on.

"The good news is now, we have the Supreme Court decision, and it's behind us," Emanuel said. "Hopefully, it will be the last question about it for all of us, including myself, and that decision, I think actually the good news is, I've always said that the voters should make this decision about who should be the next mayor."

During the debate, all the mayoral candidates agreed that it's time to focus on Chicago issues such as taxes, education and fighting corruption, not the residency ruling – even though the news was pretty fresh.

Early voting in the race starts on Monday, and the election is Feb. 22.

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