• Justice Theis

It’s now up to the Illinois Supreme Court to decide if Rahm Emanuel is legally eligible to run for mayor of Chicago. The residency issue that could knock him off the ballot won’t be an abstraction to the court’s newest justice, Mary Jane Theis. She and Emanuel lived on the same block in East Ravenswood. The Emanuels’ house — which, of course, they aren’t occupying at the moment — is across Hermitage and just up the street from the Theis house.

So the court’s fateful decision could come down to something Emanuel might have once said to Theis about his hopes and dreams at a block party. Or when the family car pulled away in 2008 and the Emanuels were off to Washington, did Emanuel shout to his waving neighbors, “And a new chapter opens!” or did he shout “We’ll be back!”?

Or maybe, in traditional Chicago way fashion, it will all come down to some totally extralegal consideration, such as how prompt the Emanuels were to shovel their walk when it snowed.