The Rahm Situation, Part I: Enforce the Law

January 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

The surest way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.
— Abraham Lincoln

While editorial boards, talking heads, and policy wonks from near and far are condemning the recent Appellate Court decision removing Rahm from the ballot based on emotion, there has been little discussion in the media as to what the law actually says.

It’s time we acknowledge, our city and state governments have passed a lot (a LOT) of poorly worded, half-baked laws.  As someone who’s read a few laws in their day I can tell you that many of our laws as so poorly written that even our best judges struggle to figure out what the law really is.  This leads to more appeals and costs everyone money.

I read both the majority opinion and the decent of the Appellate Court.  Then I reviewed the actual code.  In the end, I believe the Appellate Court got it right.  There are two requirements to run for office in this city and one of them is residency.  As John Kass wrote his headline today, “The law, at least, doesn’t care who sent ya.”

Further, I’m against judicial activism.  I believe judges should rule as the law “is” and not what they think the law “should be.”  We should follow Lincoln’s advice and strictly enforce the law as it is written.  And then, we should change the law, so that we don’t have this problem again.

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