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U.S. EX REL. HOLDER v. CIR. COURT OF 17TH

July 15, 1985

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA EX REL, CARL HOLDER, PETITIONER,
v.
CIRCUIT COURT OF THE 17TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, WINNEBAGO COUNTY, ILLINOIS, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Roszkowski, District Judge.

ORDER

Before the court are the petitioner's and respondent's motions for summary judgment. The court's subject matter jurisdiction is predicated upon 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (1982). For the reasons set forth herein, petitioner's motion for summary judgment is granted and respondent's motion is denied.

I. BACKGROUND

Petitioner, Carl Holder, a union business representative involved in union organizing and contract negotiating activities, was convicted of criminal intimidation as defined in Ill.Rev.Stat. ch. 38, ¶ 12-6(a)(3) (1983). The conviction arose from petitioner's alleged threat to an employer during union organizing activities. According to the employer, the petitioner informed him that the concrete would be allowed to harden in the employer's "ready-mix" concrete trucks if the employer did not sign a collective bargaining agreement.*fn1

Petitioner's conviction was originally overturned by the Illinois Appellate Court on the grounds that § 12-6(a)(3) was overbroad and conflicted with the First Amendment. People v. Holder, 103 Ill.App.3d 353, 59 Ill.Dec. 142, 431 N.E.2d 831 (1982). The Illinois Supreme Court, two justices dissenting, reversed the appellate court and remanded the case for consideration of the petitioner's remaining arguments. People v. Holder, 96 Ill.2d 444, 71 Ill.Dec. 677, 451 N.E.2d 831 (1983). On remand, the appellate court affirmed the petitioner's conviction. People v. Holder, 119 Ill.App.3d 366, 74 Ill.Dec. 907, 456 N.E.2d 628 (1983). With one justice dissenting, the Illinois Supreme Court refused to review the appellate court's second decision. People v. Holder, 96 Ill.2d 569, 76 Ill.Dec. 505, 458 N.E.2d 1305 (1984). Subsequently, the United States Supreme Court refused to grant a writ of certiorari. Holder v. Illinois, ___ U.S. ___, 104 S.Ct. 3511, 82 L.Ed.2d 820 (1984).

In the present action, the petitioner raises two principal arguments. First, the petitioner contends ¶ 12-6(a)(3) is overbroad and vague in conflict with the First Amendment. Second, the petitioner argues his particular conviction conflicts with national labor policy and the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution.

II. DISCUSSION

A. The Illinois Intimidation Statute

Subparagraph 12-6(a)(3) of the Illinois Criminal Code provides:

  (a) A person commits intimidation when, with intent
    to cause another to perform or to omit the
    performance of any act, he communicates to another
    a threat to perform without lawful authority any of
    the following acts:

(3) commit any criminal offense[.] * *

Sub-paragraph 2-12 of the Illinois Criminal Code defines "offense" as "a violation of any penal statute of this State." Ill.Rev.Stat. ch. 38, ¶ 2-12 (1983). The Illinois Supreme Court has construed ¶ 12-6(a)(3) as requiring a specific intent to cause another to perform or omit the performance of certain acts. People v. Smith, 78 Ill.2d 298, 35 Ill.Dec. 761, 766, 399 N.E.2d 1289, 1294 (1980). In addition, the Illinois Supreme Court has judicially imposed the requirement that a statement violating ¶ 12-6(a)(3) have "a reasonable tendency to coerce." People v. Gallo, 54 Ill.2d 343, 297 N.E.2d 569, 574 (1973).

B. First Amendment Challenge: Overbreadth

Petitioner initially contends the Illinois intimidation statute is unconstitutionally overbroad in violation of the First Amendment. The "overbreadth doctrine" allows a person against whom a statute may be applied constitutionally to challenge the facial validity of the statute on the grounds that it may conceivably be applied unconstitutionally to others in situations not presently before the court. New York v. Ferber, 458 U.S. 747, 767-69, 102 S.Ct. 3348, 3359-61, 73 L.Ed.2d 1113 (1982). This "overbreadth" exception to ordinary standing requirements is recognized in the First Amendment area because "persons whose expression is constitutionally protected may well refrain from exercising their rights for fear of criminal sanctions by a statute susceptible of application to protected expression." Id. at 768, 102 S.Ct. at 3361 (quoting Schaumberg v. Citizens for a Better Environment, 444 U.S. 620, 634, 100 S.Ct. 826, 834, 63 L.Ed.2d 73 (1980) and Gooding v. Wilson, 405 U.S. 518, 521, 92 S.Ct. 1103, 1105, 31 L.Ed.2d 408 (1972)). Nonetheless, recent Supreme Court decisions have ...


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