Thursday, June 16, 2005

Paul Vallas goes to court in case he wants a rematch

Maybe it's time to turn back on the Draft Vallas blog.

Today, Paul Vallas sued for his right to run for Governor. The state Constitution imposes a three year residency requirement, and Vallas is the CEO of the Philadelphia School system, which is not in Illinois.

Thanks to Rich Miller, you can read the complaint here.

Essentially, Vallas is making two points.

The first is that he is and has always been a resident of Illinios, even though he's got a job in Pennsylvania. State law on defining residency focuses on the intent of the individual, and the complaint argues that Vallas' intent has been to remain an Illinois resident. On the one hand, he moved to take a job in Philadelphia. On the other hand, his doctor, dentist, lawyer, advisor remain in Illinois, he comes back to Illinois frequently for family visits, his wife's cell phone is still a 773 phone and he pays dues not to a Philadelphia Greek Orthodox Church but to a Chicago Greek Orthodox Church.

If the judge buys that, then the judge will declare that Paul Vallas is a legal resident of the State of Illinois and has been for the last three years, permitting him to run for Governor. That decision would be appealable, but that's a different story.

If the judge does not buy the argument that because Paul Vallas intended to remain an Illinois resident, notwithstanding his job in Philadelphia, then he's got a second argument.

The state Constitution also says that all elections "shall be free and equal." Not all offices have a constitutional residency requirement -- the state's attorneys, for instance. So it isn't 'free and equal' to have one office have a residency requirement and not them all.

There isn't a lot of state court litigation on the 'free and equal' provision of the state Constitution, so this decision will be interesting.

I hope he wins the second prong of his case to beef up the case law on the 'free and equal' provision of the state Constitution.

Plus, contested primaries are good.


Anonymous said...

I know this story has been up for some time but it would me nice if you could make a correction. We are not "GREEN" people, we are "GREEK"
I know there was no offence intended but... Am I the only one who noticed this? I do think the judge was due to issue his ruling today so we should hear some news before the weekend.

Anonymous said...

LoL, now you got me doing it.
"would me nice if you could make a correction"
"would be nice if you could make a correction"

Dan Johnson-Weinberger said...

Oops.... got that fixed. DJW