census tract figures as soon as possible. I felt it my judicial
responsibility in this important case to enlist the good offices
of the Director to extend special consideration and effort to
expedite the compilation of the census tract figures for the City
of Chicago. In response to this request, the Director and his
Bureau did graciously and responsibly expedite the compilation of
the Chicago data and I here express my thanks to them.
Because of the delay in obtaining the census tract figures, the
defendants Mayor and City Council presented a motion for
extension of time to file the redistricting ordinance. For the
reasons above described, which I felt compelling, I granted the
City's motion and extended the time to and including November 10,
1970. Plaintiff Despres opposed the City's motion for an
extension and submitted a proposed reapportionment plan of his
own under which he contended the aldermanic elections could be
held. In his briefs in opposition to the defendants' motion for
extension, plaintiff Despres stressed the fact that the first day
for filing a petition of candidacy is November 16, 1970 and the
last day for filing such a petition is December 21, 1970.
Plaintiff Despres vehemently argued that any delay would cause
"serious harm * * * to independent candidates for alderman in the
February, 1971 election." The Court of Appeals affirmed my
granting of the extension to November 10, 1970.
In my order granting the extension of time, I commended
plaintiff Despres and his associates for their efforts in
preparing a plan which they feel meets the Supreme Court's
mandate of mathematical exactness in the preparation of
representative wards. I also invited other interested parties to
submit similar plans if they desired to do so. The ordinance
presently before the court was duly enacted and timely filed by
the defendant Mayor and City Council on November 10, 1970.
Plaintiffs Skolnick and Eskelinen also filed a proposed plan just
prior to that date (November 9, 1970). My order also set November
12, 1970 for a hearing on the constitutionality of the ordinance
to be submitted again recognizing the important time limitations
urged by plaintiff Despres in opposing the extension.
At the commencement of the hearing on the constitutionality of
the City's ordinance on November 12, 1970, I advised all parties
as to what I deemed the nature and purpose of the hearing. I
again reiterated the principle which I have so often expressed in
this case in the past and which has been expressed by the Supreme
Court, that redistricting is constitutionally a legislative
function and judicial relief becomes appropriate only after the
legislative body charged with the responsibility fails to perform
that duty according to federal constitutional requisites.
Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533, 586, 84 S.Ct. 1362, 12 L.Ed.2d
506. I made clear that I have no authority under the Constitution
to conduct another public hearing or a town hall meeting on the
wisdom of the City Council's ordinance. The only issue before me
is whether the plan as submitted is constitutional.
I therefore directed the parties to limit their inquiry to the
issue: Does the ordinance before the court pursuant to the
commands of the Court of Appeals and this court meet the most
current standard of equal protection in terms of mathematical
exactness and, if it can be demonstrated that it does not, do
either of the alternative plans meet that exactness standard. See
Kirkpatrick v. Preisler, 394 U.S. 526, 89 S.Ct. 1225, 22 L.Ed.2d
519; Wells v. Rockefeller, 394 U.S. 542, 89 S.Ct. 1234, 22
As to this issue, I advised all parties, particularly the
defendants herein, that I was fully aware of the constitutional
theory, accepted by certain courts, that although mathematical
exactness is required for congressional districting, a greater
deviation is permissible in state and local redistricting. See
e.g. Abate v. Mundt, 25 N.Y.2d 309, 305 N.Y.S.2d 465,
253 N.E.2d 189 (1969). I further
advised the parties that I disagreed with this theory and the
conclusions of those courts which have adopted it and I adopted
as the law of this case the exactness standard expressed in
Kirkpatrick and Wells. See also Skolnick v. Illinois State
Election Board, 307 F. Supp. 691 (N.D.Ill. 1969).
I further advised the parties, that although mathematical
equality was the only issue presented in the case thus far, on my
own motion I was raising the issue as to whether the plan before
the court would under any circumstances operate, "to minimize or
cancel out the voting strength of a cognizable racial or
political element of the voting population," Gomillion v.
Lightfoot, 364 U.S. 339, 81 S.Ct. 125, 5 L.Ed.2d 110; Fortson v.
Dorsey, 379 U.S. 433, 85 S.Ct. 498, 13 L.Ed.2d 401; Burns v.
Richardson, 384 U.S. 73, 86 S.Ct. 1286, 16 L.Ed.2d 376.
Significantly, there has been no serious challenge to the
ordinance as presented for its failure to achieve mathematical
exactness. Only plaintiffs Skolnick and Eskelinen attacked the
ordinance on this basis; and their attack is aimed more at the
use of enumeration districts rather than census tracts, charging
that the enumeration districts may not prove as accurate as the
census tract figures. While I understand and appreciate the point
Mr. Skolnick and Mr. Eskelinen attempt to make, I believe the
method used by the City Council, i.e., using census tracts and
enumeration district figures, best complies with the Supreme
Court's teaching to make a good faith effort to achieve
mathematical certainty. In reaching this conclusion, I
particularly note that of the census tract split where the split
involved population, only 49 census tracts out of a total of 872
were split, requiring the use of the smaller enumeration
districts. (See Appendix "A")
I have carefully analyzed the City's plan with the excellent
assistance of Dr. Joseph Godwin, Amicus Curiae, who has served as
my technical advisor and for whose assistance I am most thankful,
and I have carefully checked its mathematical accuracy. I also
compared it and the other plans submitted by the other parties
with maps I received upon request from the Chicago Urban League,
which maps detail areas of black residence within the City of
Chicago as estimated and projected for the years 1970 and 1975.
I also consulted at length with the Regional Office of the
United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, and
have personally verified the consistency and accuracy of the
census tract and enumeration district figures and boundaries
contained in the City's proposed plan. I would like to express my
appreciation and the appreciation of this court to Hon. Curtis T.
Hill, Regional Director and to his most competent staff for their
valuable assistance and cooperation.
My exhaustive personal survey has revealed only the following
minor inaccuracies and obviously clerical errors:
1. The ward boundary between Wards 4 and 5 is
intended to follow the tract boundary between Tracts
4104 and 4105, which is E. 52nd Street. There is a
jog in the street, and a discrepancy in the city map.
However, it appears that the ward boundary in the
ordinance does follow the correct tract boundary and
that the tract boundary plotted on the map is in
2. There is another boundary error on the map
between Wards 1 and 11. All of Tract 6003 is in Ward
11; the map erroneously shows part in Ward 1.
3. In the supporting population data supplied by
the City (Exhibit F) and particularly relating to
Ward 24, census tract number 2922 containing a
population of 7,911 was erroneously omitted from the
supporting data. This tract is correctly contained on
the map and in the ordinance itself, however, and the
error seems merely a clerical one.
4. In numerous other instances, tract boundaries
are not correctly placed on the City's map. (E.G. see
tract boundary between Tracts 7605 and 1705, which is
slightly east of the proper location.) These errors
result only from overprinting and the written
descriptions contained in the ordinance itself have
been verified and do conform to tract and enumeration
None of these listed exceptions to the accuracy of the ordinance
and supporting data submitted in any way affect its
constitutional validity. Accordingly, I find and conclude from my
own analysis of the facts, as well as from the factual and legal
arguments presented by the parties, that the ordinance submitted
fully complies with the stringent requirements of mathematical
exactness promulgated in both Kirkpatrick and Wells. Based on the
figures submitted by the United States Department of Commerce,
Bureau of the Census, the total population of the City of Chicago
is 3,329,090, and the ideal or "mean" ward would therefore
contain 66,582 persons. Under the ordinance adopted and
submitted, the ward with the smallest number of persons will
contain 66,286 people and the ward with the largest population
will contain 66,888. The ward with the lowest population
therefore contains a deviation of only .44 of one percent from
the mean and the ward with the largest population contains a
deviation of only .46 of one percent from the mean. Moreover, the
total deviation between the highest and the lowest populated ward
is only .90 of one percent. So close to the exactness standard is
the ordinance presented that 40 of the 50 wards deviate no more
than .46 of one percent from the greatest to the least populous.
As I stated above, I have personally verified this mathematical
perfection with the Bureau of the Census, and its accuracy is
assured because in drafting the ordinance the City Council
followed census tract lines or enumeration district lines in lieu
of other boundary descriptions.