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League of Women Voters of Chicago v. City of Chicago

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

July 9, 2014

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF CHICAGO, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, Defendant-Appellee

Argued April 7, 2014

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 1:13-cv-02455 -- Sharon Johnson Coleman, Judge.

For League of Women Voters of Chicago, Jodi Biancalana, Bruce Crosby, William K. Crosby, Stephanie Crowell, Plaintiffs - Appellants: Sean Morales-Doyle, Attorney, Thomas H. Geoghegan, Attorney, Michael P. Persoon, Attorney, Despres, Schwartz & Geoghegan, Chicago, IL.

For City of Chicago, Defendant - Appellee: Kerrie Maloney Laytin, Attorney, Office of The Corporation Counsel, Appeals Division, Chicago, IL; Richard J. Prendergast, Attorney, Richard J. Prendergast, Ltd., Chicago, IL; Benna Ruth Solomon, Attorney, City of Chicago Law Department, Chicago, IL; Michael James Kasper, Attorney, Fletcher Topol & O'Brien, Chicago, IL.

For Robert W. Fioretti, Party-in-Interest: Steven Saltzman, Attorney, Chicago, IL.

For Chicago Lawyers' Committee For Civil Rights Under Law, Incorporated, Amicus Curiae: Paul Leonard Strauss, Attorney, Chicago Lawyers' Committee For Civil Rights Under Law, Chicago, IL.

For Business And Professional People For The Public Interest, Amicus Curiae: Alexander Polikoff, Attorney, Business & Professional People For The Public Interest, Chicago, IL.

Before WOOD, Chief Judge, and KANNE and SYKES, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 723

Kanne, Circuit Judge 

In 2012, Chicago's City Council voted on and adopted a new ward map to take effect in 2015. The League of Women Voters of Chicago and fourteen Chicago citizens (collectively " the League" ) filed this action challenging the redistricting. The League alleged that the 2015 map failed to adhere to equal-population principles established under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The League also asserted that the City prematurely implemented the 2015 boundaries, which infringed upon their right to vote under the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court granted the City's 12(b)(6) motion for failure of the League to state a claim. For the following reasons, we affirm.

I. Background

Following the 2010 census, and pursuant to state law, the City of Chicago sought to reapportion its fifty aldermanic wards. 65 ILCS 20/21-36. Beginning in 2011, the City Council conducted hearings to solicit the views of citizens regarding the redrawing of ward boundaries. Under state law, the Council was required to garner the approval of forty-one aldermen in order to prevent a referendum on the redistricting plan. 65 ILCS 20/21-39; 65 ILCS 20/21-40. On January 19, 2012, the Council approved the redistricting plan by a vote of forty-one to eight.

According to the 2010 census, the City's population was ...


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