I know that if you read what the election law says its pretty clear that you have to maintain residence in the City of Chicago for at least 1 year prior to the election and he rented his home out. He was eligible to vote in Chicago and paid income taxes in Illinois even though he was working for the President in Washington. While I don't entirely disagree with the Appellate court's ruling, I do think this is an exceptional case. He was born in Chicago, he served 5 terms as a Congressman from a Chicago district and only left because he was called on by his country to serve in the federal government.
I was planning on voting for Emanuel. I've always liked him despite (or because of) his strong arm tactics and the influence he has been able to gather for himself. You can't really make it as Mayor of Chicago without a strong personality and extensive political connections. It may be shocking to some but from an institutional perspective the position of Mayor of Chicago is a relatively weak one. The power all resides with City Council and to be honest I don't trust City Council to do anything right when left to their own devices. I know I won't win any good governance points for this but I kind of like that Emanuel would have the ability to keep them in line and actually get things done much like Daley and his father before him.
I also like that he yells at people a lot. For some reason, that just seems like something the Mayor of Chicago should be good at. Perhaps Gery Chico and Carol Mosley Braun should have a yell-off at the next debate to see who I think deserves my vote. Here's one of the many rants by Daley to illustrate what I'm talking about: