plaintiffs effectively adopt the configuration advanced in the Rosebrook plan. Under this configuration, Chicago's Second Ward is positioned as the southernmost region of the 7th Congressional District. The African-American Nieves plaintiffs, on the other hand, have effectively adopted the configuration proposed in the Hastert plan. This configuration maintains the historical placement of the Second Ward within the 1st Congressional District. See Chicago Urban League Exh. 3-8. We have found the Hastert plan superior to the Rosebrook plan under the relevant constitutional and legal criteria. Therefore, the Collins plaintiffs bear the burden of demonstrating why an alteration of the otherwise constitutionally and legally preferred Hastert plan is warranted.
The Collins plaintiffs' principal contention is that the Hastert 1st and 7th congressional district boundary is the product of a political gerrymander. We regard this as a curious claim in two respects. First, both the Hastert and the Rosebrook plaintiffs have refused to take any position advocating one configuration over another. The claim of a Hastert political gerrymander in this regard rings hollow. Second, we recognize that the unique, serpentine configuration of the boundary between the Hastert 1st and 7th congressional districts suggests that the Hastert plan was influenced by the political concerns of the African-American Nieves plaintiffs. However, the unique configuration of the corresponding boundaries in the Rosebrook plan equally compels the conclusion that the political concerns of the Collins plaintiffs influenced the Rosebrook map drawers. Simply put, the Collins plaintiffs' political motivation objection to the Hastert configuration applies equally to their own proposal. This conclusion is further compelled by the fact that the Collins plaintiffs vigorously argue for the removal of the Second Ward from its historical mooring in the 1st congressional district. Quite obviously, political concerns are the primary motivators on both sides of this essentially parochial political dispute. And, as noted previously, the exercise of political considerations in the redistricting process is not alone sufficient to invalidate a districting plan. Gaffney v. Cummings, 412 U.S. at 752-53; Davis v. Bandemer, 478 U.S. at 128-29.
More importantly, the Collins plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate any relevant politically discriminatory effects from the Hastert configuration. The Collins plaintiffs do not contend that the Hastert boundary configurations will "consistently degrade a voter's or a group of voters' influence on the process as a whole" or "substantially disadvantage certain voters in their opportunity to influence the political process effectively." Bandemer, 478 U.S. at 132-33. The Collins plaintiffs therefore have not met the requisite burden of proof for political gerrymandering claims under Bandemer.
Finally, we seriously question whether the factual circumstances underlying this dispute would ever support a political gerrymandering claim. Under both proposed configurations, the citizens of the Second Ward likely will be represented by an incumbent African-American Democratic representative. Thus, the dispute does not cross political party, racial or ethnic lines. The only significant political impact at issue would occur at an intra-party factional level. Any analysis of political impact of that nature that we might undertake would require subjective and extraordinarily subtle political judgments of cause and effect -- judgments well beyond our capacity. For this reason, we also decline to address the various nonconstitutional arguments raised by both the Collins and African-American Nieves plaintiffs that raise peculiarly local legislative issues, including the appropriate ratio of public housing residents in each district and the proper district placement of local historical landmarks. Accordingly, we reject the claims of the Collins plaintiffs regarding the configuration of the Hastert 1st and 7th district boundaries.
The population and demographic changes reflected in the 1990 census have rendered the existing Illinois congressional districting plan implemented in In re Illinois Congressional Dist. Reapportionment Cases, No. 81 C 3915 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 23, 1981), unconstitutional. The existing congressional districting plan is therefore declared null and void. The Hastert and Rosebrook plaintiffs have each submitted plans that would have passed constitutional and legal muster had either plan been the product of the state legislative process. In the absence of state legislative action, however, we were constrained to establish the plan that best meets technical constitutional and legal criteria set out by the Supreme Court for evaluating congressional districting plans. We conclude that the Hastert third amended redistricting plan best satisfies the criteria.
First, the Hastert plan achieves precise mathematical equality of population across congressional districts. Second, the Hastert plan is superior to the Rosebrook plan with respect to fairness to the voting rights of racial and language minorities. We find that § 2 of the Voting Rights Act warrants the creation of an Hispanic super-majority district, as well as the preservation of the three existing African-American districts. The Hastert plan provides these minority communities, particularly the minority communities in the proposed 7th and Hispanic congressional districts, with a marginally superior opportunity to exercise political control in their respective communities. Third, we regard the Hastert plan as likely to produce a fair distribution of congressional seats across party lines.
It is therefore ordered that the Hastert third amended redistricting plan, now adopted as the court's redistricting plan as set forth in the appendix, shall govern the nomination and election of members of the House of Representatives from the State of Illinois, effective with respect to the 1992 primary and continuing until Illinois congressional districts are reapportioned in accordance with law.
It is further ordered that the defendant Illinois State Board of Elections, in accordance with its duties under the Illinois election laws, shall forthwith implement the terms of the court's redistricting plan, as set forth in the appendix.
The clerk is directed to enter final judgment in all cases consolidated herein in accordance with the order set forth above.
Finally, it is ordered that all parties to these consolidated cases shall bear their own costs.
[SEE APPENDIX IN ORIGINAL]