Before Sprecher, Circuit Judge, and Austin and Napoli, District
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sprecher, Circuit Judge.
These six consolidated cases prayed for the convening of a
three-judge court under 28 U.S.C. § 2281 and 2284 for the
purpose of (1) holding either that Article IV, section 3(b) of
the 1970 Constitution of the State of Illinois, S.H.A., providing
for the appointment of a legislative redistricting commission, is
unconstitutional or that the commission appointed thereunder is
without constitutional authority to redistrict or that the
redistricting plan adopted by the commission fails to meet
federal constitutional standards; (2) enjoining elections of
members of the Illinois general assembly under the commission
plan; and (3) drawing of a new map by this court.
LEGISLATIVE REDISTRICTING BY COMMISSION
On December 15, 1970, the people of the State of Illinois
adopted a new constitution providing that the legislative power
of the state is vested in a general assembly consisting of a
senate and house of representatives elected from 59 legislative
districts, one senator for a four-year term and three
representatives for two-year terms to be elected from each
legislative district (Art. IV, §§ 1, 2(a) and 2(b)).
The Constitution of 1970 provides that legislative districts
shall be compact, contiguous and substantially equal in
population (Art. IV, § 3(a)).
In the year following each federal decennial census year, the
general assembly shall redistrict the legislative districts, but
if it fails to do so by June 30, a legislative redistricting
commission shall be constituted not later than July 10,
consisting of eight members, no more than four being of the same
political party. The speaker and minority leader of the house of
representatives shall each appoint one representative and one
person who is not a member of the general assembly. The president
and minority leader of the senate shall each appoint one senator
and one non-legislator (Art. IV, § 3(b)).
Not later than August 10, the Legislative Redistricting
Commission shall file with the Secretary of State of Illinois a
redistricting plan approved by at least five members (Art. IV, §
A federal census was duly taken in the decennial census year of
Section 3 of Article IV of the 1970 Constitution, which
provides for legislative redistricting, became effective January
15, 1971 (Transition Schedule, § 10). The Transition Schedule
provided further: "For purposes of appointing members of a
Legislative Redistricting Commission in 1971, the President Pro
Tempore of the Senate shall have the appointing power vested by
Section 3(b) of Article IV in the President of the Senate."
The Illinois General Assembly failed to redistrict the state
legislative districts by June 30, 1971.
On July 9, 1971, W. Robert Blair, the Speaker of the House of
Representatives, appointed to the Legislative Redistricting
Commission himself and J. Douglas
Donenfeld as a non-legislative member; Clyde L. Choate, the
minority leader of the House of Representatives, appointed
himself and Douglas N. Kane as a non-legislative member; Cecil A.
Partee, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, appointed
himself and Herman G. Bodewes as a non-legislative member; and W.
Russell Arrington, the minority leader of the Senate, appointed
state Senator Terrel E. Clarke and William G. Stratton as a
On August 7, 1971, the Legislative Redistricting Commission
filed a redistricting plan (August 7 plan), describing the 59
districts in terms of counties, townships, cities and villages
where those boundaries were used, in terms of legal descriptions
in some instances, and, particularly in Cook County and other
heavily populated counties in the metropolitan Chicago area, in
terms of "census tracts," "block groups" and "enumeration
districts" as those terms are defined in the 1970 census of
population. The August 7 plan was duly filed with the Secretary
of State as approved by six of the eight members of the
commission, members Clarke and Stratton not approving.
THE PLAINTIFFS AND THEIR CONTENTIONS
The complaint in No. 71 C 1955 was filed on August 9, 1971, by
John A. Grivetti, Jr., a resident of the State of Illinois, as a
class action on behalf of himself and all other Illinois
residents, challenging the August 7 plan as violating the
Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States by
containing districts which are not compact, contiguous or
representative of a "genuine community of interest," which are
grossly misshapen and "appear to be classic cases of
gerrymandering" and which were drawn "without proper
consideration of traditional political boundaries."
The complaint in No. 71 C 2056 was filed on August 23, 1971, by
Independent Voters of Illinois (IVI), a voluntary state-wide
association of Illinois voters, by an individual independent
voter who is also a former and prospective independent candidate
for elective public office suing on behalf of himself and all
prospective independent candidates, and by an individual
independent voter suing on behalf of himself and all independent
voters and voter-supporters of independent candidates for public
office. IVI challenged the August 7 plan on the ground that
Article IV, section 3(b) of the 1970 Constitution is
unconstitutional in that it creates a legislative redistricting
commission controlled by the two major political parties and
favors voters and elected officials affiliated with those two
parties contrary to the Fourteenth Amendment and places a premium
on major party affiliation contrary to the First Amendment.
Upon oral argument before this court, IVI's counsel explained
that IVI contends principally that the Illinois constitutional
provision is invalid as a federally unconstitutional delegation
of legislative power to the redistricting commission.
The remaining four complaints, filed by four municipal
corporations established under Illinois law and performing
governmental functions, challenged the August 7 plan on grounds
substantially common to all.
The complaint in No. 71 C 2203 was filed on September 8, 1971,
by the Village of Arlington Heights, by the president and village
trustees and by a member of the Sixth Constitutional Convention
which adopted the proposed 1970 Constitution, all residents of
Arlington Heights and voters, suing on behalf of themselves as
officials and individuals and on behalf of all residents of
The complaint in No. 71 C 2245 was filed on September 13 by the
Village of Oak Park and by the president and village trustees,
all residents of Oak Park and voters, suing as officials and
individuals and on behalf of all residents of Oak Park.
The complaint in No. 71 C 2392 was filed on October 4 by the
City of Evanston, by the mayor and aldermen and by the Republican
and Democratic township committeemen for Evanston Township, all
residents of Evanston and voters, suing as officials and
individuals and on behalf of all residents of Evanston.
The complaint in No. 71 C 2497 was filed on October 18 by the
Village of Skokie and by the president, clerk and village
trustees, all residents of Skokie and voters, suing as officials
and individuals and on behalf of all residents of Skokie.
The 1970 federal census of population shows that the population
of Evanston is 79,808; of Skokie, 68,627; of Arlington Heights,
64,884; and of Oak Park, 62,511. Since the 1970 population of the
State of Illinois is 11,113,976, the average population of each
of 59 legislative districts would be 188,372 persons. Inasmuch as
each of the four municipalities would comfortably fit within the
population limits of an average legislative district, the
municipalities' chief complaint against the August 7 plan was
that each has been so chopped up that Arlington Heights finds
itself in four separate legislative districts, Skokie and Oak
Park are in three separate districts and Evanston is in two
The municipalities pointed out that under the 1970 Constitution
each is a home rule unit (a municipality with more than 25,000
population) entitled to exercise a wide range of broad powers and
functions, to regulate for the protection of public health,
safety, morals and welfare, to license for regulatory purposes,
to tax and to incur debt, all as set forth in Article VII,
section 6, of the Constitution.
Additionally, elections in Oak Park and Skokie are
traditionally held on a non-partisan basis. The same boundary
lines delineate not only the Village of Oak Park but also the
Township of Oak Park, the Park District of Oak Park and School
District Number 97. The same boundary lines delineate not only
the Village of Skokie but also the Skokie Public Library and the
Skokie Park District.
The municipalities further alleged that extensive
gerrymandering was required to divide them into separate
districts, that the resultant districts were not compact nor
representative of communities of interest, that the
municipalities' respective electorates were diminished and
diluted, that traditional political boundary lines were ignored,
that the common interests of municipal citizenry were rendered
impotent, that the motive behind the August 7 plan was to
perpetuate incumbent members of the Illinois General Assembly in
office, and that these facts severally and collectively violate
the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
The municipalities also charged that the legislative districts
in the August 7 plan are not contiguous as required by the
Illinois Constitution nor equal in population as required by the
Illinois and federal constitutions.
They further charged that the appointment of Messrs. Blair,
Choate, Partee, Donenfeld, Kane and Bodewes (the six members of
the Legislative Redistricting Commission who approved the August
7 plan) violated the Illinois Constitution since Blair, Choate
and Partee were not authorized to appoint themselves and since
Donenfeld, Kane and Bodewes were the respective legislative aids
of Blair, Choate and Partee, were employees of the General
Assembly and were alter egos of the persons who appointed them.
The municipalities, as well as IVI, further charged that the
creation of the Legislative Redistricting Commission violates the
Fourteenth Amendment because its members were appointed without
regard for one-man-one-vote principles. The municipalities also
charged, as did IVI, that the commission is necessarily dominated
by Republicans and Democrats to the exclusion of independent
voters and in violation of their rights. Oak Park also ...