Every Illinois election law has one purpose: to protect incumbents and insiders from challenges by interlopers, independents and anyone that nobody sent. Outsiders of whatever stripe usually have to meet higher standards to get on the ballot, compared with advantages typically given to the established.
Thus, a fairly straightforward provision in Chicago election law, clearly setting out residency requirements has caught the "outsider" Emanuel in its jaws. Clearly, he is as "Chicago" as the next guy who wants to be mayor and my own view is that everyone ought to be allowed into the pool.
But, as they say, "the law is the law." It is bittersweet irony that someone as connected as Emanuel get tangled up in it.
Will the Illinois Supreme Court's decision settling the issue be political, or be based on the law. Read further commentary here.