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Peo. Ex Rel. Scott v. Kerner

OPINION FILED NOVEMBER 19, 1965.

THE PEOPLE EX REL. WILLIAM J. SCOTT ET AL., PETITIONERS,

v.

OTTO KERNER, GOVERNOR, ET AL., RESPONDENTS.



ORIGINAL PETITION for writ of mandamus.

MR. JUSTICE UNDERWOOD DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT: In the earlier opinion in this cause (People ex rel. Scott v. Kerner, 32 Ill.2d 539), this court held that the Illinois congressional districts established by the General Assembly in 1961 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1963, chap. 46, par. 156 f. 1) were invalid as violative of the equality of population principle set forth in Wesberry v. Sanders, 376 U.S. 1, 11 L.ed.2d 481, 84 S.Ct. 526. We expressed our confidence that the 74th General Assembly would, prior to adjournment, enact a constitutionally valid congressional reapportionment scheme, but nevertheless retained jurisdiction to insure that Illinois representatives in Congress would be elected in 1966 pursuant to a constitutionally valid plan. The legislature has since adjourned sine die without providing any congressional reapportionment plan.

On June 24, 1965, we ordered the parties to file suggestions concerning the manner in which Illinois congressional districts should be reapportioned in the event the General Assembly failed to act. Rather widely divergent proposals were filed. By our order of September 10, 1965, we indicated none of the suggestions so filed were completely acceptable, urged the parties to continue to attempt to reconcile their differences, and stated our intention, if no agreement was reached by October 1, to proceed to resolve the problem in conjunction with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, which also had retained jurisdiction over the congressional reapportionment controversy. Kirby v. Illinois State Electoral Board, No. 65C75; Lusek v. Kerner, No. 65C81 (D. Ill. N.D.E.D.).

Subsequently, Chief Judge Campbell of that court acting under the pretrial provisions of Rule 16, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and with our knowledge and approval, conferred with counsel for the opposing parties in an attempt to compromise the controversy and reach agreement. On October 1, 1965, counsel informed Chief Judge Campbell and this court that complete agreement could not be reached. Thereupon, based principally upon the areas of agreement by the parties, a judicially drafted plan was prepared as indicated in the pretrial memorandum of Chief Judge Campbell filed October 13 in that court and concurred in by Circuit Judge Latham Castle, presiding, and District Judge Bernard M. Decker, copies of which had theretofore been furnished members of this court. On October 13, 1965, this court and the Federal district court simultaneously announced approval of the provisional plan (a copy of which is attached as an appendix hereto, including legal descriptions, population data, and maps) and held that Illinois representatives in Congress shall be elected in 1966 from districts described therein.

We believe the provisional plan so adopted to be just, equitable and constitutionally valid. As stated in the Federal district court's pretrial memorandum, this plan utilizes "the nucleus of each existing congressional district, * * * enlarging or decreasing it to comply with the `one man, one vote' principle," thereby according the greatest possible effect to the 1961 legislatively devised apportionment plan which heretofore governed congressional representative elections. The district having the least population (No. 16-394, 481) deviates from the norm (420,048) by only 6.1%; the largest district (No. 8-451, 527) by 7.5%. Mathematical nicety is not required, and the principle of preservation of the integrity of historic political subdivisions more than justifies slight deviation from the hypothetical perfectly populated district. See Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533, 579, 12 L.ed.2d 506, 84 S.Ct. 1362, 1391; People ex rel. Engle v. Kerner, 33 Ill.2d 11, 13.

We also believe it appropriate to here express our appreciation to counsel for the parties hereto and to Chief Judge Campbell, Circuit Judge Castle and District Judge Decker, whose initiative and cooperation have expedited the resolution of this troublesome apportionment problem in a manner we deem conducive to the best interests of the people of this State and infinitely superior to the difficult situations prevailing in those jurisdictions wherein State and Federal courts have reached divergent conclusions on State apportionment matters.

Since apportionment problems are pre-eminently legislative responsibilities, the plan described in this opinion is required only by legislative nonfeasance and is therefore provisional in nature.

Provisional Congressional Reapportionment Adopted.

APPENDIX

POPULATION DATA FOR COOK COUNTY AREA CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS

Deviation from District Number Population Average of 420,048 1 409,195 -2.6% 2 425,454 .3% 3 429,267 .2% 4 415,838 -1.0% 5 401,862 -4.3% 6 420,109 .1% 7 416,712 -0.8% 8 451,527 .5% 9 451,042 .4% 10 433,935 .2% 11 450,884 .3% 13 407,052 -3.1%

LEGAL DESCRIPTIONS FOR COOK COUNTY AREA CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS

District 1: The Second Ward, the Third Ward, the Sixth Ward, the Twentieth Ward, that part of the Fourth Ward lying west of Cottage Grove Avenue, and that part of the Fourth Ward lying north of a line described as follows: Beginning at the center of the intersection of East 46th Street and South Cottage Grove Avenue, then eastward on 46th Street to South Woodlawn Avenue, then south on Woodlawn to the junction with East 46th Street, then easterly on 46th Street to South Lake Park Avenue, then southerly on South Lake Park Avenue to East 47th Street, then easterly on 47th Street to Lake Michigan, that part of the Eighth Ward lying north of 99th Street and west of Stony Island Avenue, and that part of the Twenty-first Ward lying north of 99th Street and east of Stewart Avenue, all in the city of Chicago.

District 2: The Fifth Ward, the Seventh Ward, the Ninth Ward, the Tenth Ward, that part of the Fourth Ward lying east of Cottage Grove Avenue and south of a line described as follows: Beginning at the center of the intersection of East 46th Street and South Cottage Grove Avenue, then eastward on 46th Street to South Woodlawn Avenue, then south on Woodlawn to the junction with East 46th Street, then easterly on 46th Street to South Lake Park Avenue, then southerly on South Lake Park Avenue to East 47th Street, then easterly on 47th Street to Lake Michigan, and those parts of the Eighth Ward lying east of Stony Island Avenue and south of 99th Street, in the city of Chicago; the township of Calumet and that part of Thornton Township lying to the east and north of a line described as follows: Beginning at the northern boundary of Thornton Township and its intersection with Lincoln Avenue, southeast on Lincoln Avenue to Irving Avenue, south on Irving Avenue to Sibley Boulevard, east on Sibley Boulevard to the Calumet Expressway, south on the Calumet Expressway to its intersection with 159th Street, east on 159th Street to its intersection with the Little Calumet River, south and east along the river to its intersection with the eastern boundary of Thornton Township, in Cook County.

District 3: The Sixteenth Ward, the Seventeenth Ward, the Eighteenth Ward, the Nineteenth Ward, that part of the Thirteenth Ward lying south of 66th Street, and the Twenty-first Ward except that part lying north of 99th Street and east of Stewart Avenue, in the city of Chicago; and that part of ...


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