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Illinois’ top court takes Emanuel case

CHICAGO – The Illinois Supreme Court granted a reprieve to Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday, keeping his name on the Chicago mayoral ballot temporarily as justices hurry to decide whether it should remain there permanently.

About 300,000 ballots without Emanuel’s name already had been printed when word came that the justices were stepping in, leaving city election officials to call their printer with the message: “Stop the presses.”

The developments capped a whirlwind 24 hours in the mayor’s race that started when an appellate court issued the stunning decision Monday booting Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff, from the ballot.

Now Emanuel’s mayoral bid rests squarely in the hands of seven justices who will deliver what is widely expected to be the final word on whether Emanuel meets the statutory requirement that candidates for office in a municipality live there for one year prior to an election.

Legal experts said the state Supreme Court seems to be signaling it will come to a conclusion fairly quickly.

The justices don’t want to hear arguments or receive new legal briefings from the attorneys on either side of the ballot dispute. Instead, they will use the material the attorneys already filed at the appellate level.