The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard Mills, District Judge:
In the main, federal courts should stay out of political
matters. Federal judges have no business meddling in uniquely
state questions unless those issues are in direct conflict
with the United States Constitution.
In 1877, the U.S. Supreme Court held that to redress
legislative action, "the people must resort to the polls, not
to the courts."*fn1
The bottom line: This Court concludes that the redistricting
claim here is a nonjusticiable political question that must be
left to the legislative and judicial branches of the State of
In 1970, an Illinois Constitutional Convention convened and
formulated a new state constitution.*fn2 On December 15,
1970, Illinois' electorate ratified this new constitution, and
it became effective on July 1, 1971. Therein, sections 2 and
3 of article VI of the Illinois Constitution provide:
The State is divided into five Judicial
Districts for the selection of Supreme and
Appellate Court Judges. The First Judicial
District consists of Cook County. The remainder
of the State shall be divided by law into four
Judicial Districts of substantially equal
population, each of which shall be compact and
composed of contiguous counties.
§ 3 Supreme Court — Organization
The Supreme Court shall consist of seven
Judges. Three shall be selected from the First
Judicial District and one from each of the other
Judicial Districts. . . .
In this action, the Republican Party argues that sections 2
and 3 of article VI of the Illinois Constitution violate the
Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Specifically,
it claims that said sections violate the Equal Protection
Clause. The Republican Party states that since 1970, no
Republican nominee has ever won an election to the office of
Illinois Supreme Court Justice in the First Judicial District,
and it blames this result on the at-large, multi-member
election scheme employed in the First Judicial District.
Furthermore, the Republican Party argues that if the First
Judicial District were subdivided into three separate
subdistricts, its voting strength would be sufficient to elect
a candidate from at least one of the three subdistricts. It
asserts that the at-large, multi-member method of electing
Illinois Supreme Court Justices impermissibly discriminates
against Cook County Republican voters. The Republican Party
claims that due to the at-large, multi-member election system,
its voting strength has been impermissibly diluted in
violation of the Equal Protection Clause.
Accordingly, the Complaint asks the Court to declare that
sections 2 and 3 of article VI of the Illinois Constitution
violate the U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection Clause.
Defendants are the individual members of the Illinois State
Board of Elections, the Illinois State Board of Elections as
an entity, and Secretary of State George Ryan, in his official
capacity, who is responsible for certifying the candidates for
the position of Illinois Supreme Court Justice. Defendants
offer four arguments as to why the Complaint should be
dismissed. First, Defendants argue that Plaintiffs Ingemunson
and Jourdan do not have standing to bring this suit. Second,
Defendants assert that the Illinois State Board of Elections
enjoys immunity from this suit under the Eleventh Amendment to
the U.S. Constitution. Third, Defendants state that
Plaintiffs' claim is nonjusticiable. Finally, Defendants claim
that Plaintiffs' Complaint fails to sufficiently allege a
claim of vote dilution under the Equal Protection Clause.
Accordingly, for these reasons, Defendants argue that
Plaintiffs' Complaint should be dismissed.
II. LEGAL STANDARD FOR MOTIONS TO DISMISS
In ruling on a motion to dismiss, the Court "must accept
well pleaded allegations of the complaint as true. In
addition, the Court must view these allegations in the light
most favorable to the plaintiff." Gomez v. Illinois State Bd.
of Educ., 811 F.2d 1030, 1039 (7th Cir. 1987). Although a
complaint is not required to contain a detailed outline of the
claim's basis, it nevertheless "must contain either direct or
inferential allegations respecting all the material elements
necessary to sustain a recovery under some viable legal
theory." Car Carriers, Inc. v. Ford Motor Co., 745 F.2d 1101,
1106 (7th Cir. 1984). Mere conclusions, without supporting
factual allegations, are insufficient to support a claim for
relief. Cohen v. Illinois Inst. of Tech., 581 F.2d 658, 663
(7th Cir. 1978). Dismissal should not be granted ...