SHAKMAN v. DEMOCRATIC ORGANIZATION OF COOK CTY. No. 69 C 2145.
481 F.Supp. 1315 (1979)
Michael L. SHAKMAN and Paul M. Lurie et al., Plaintiffs, v. The DEMOCRATIC ORGANIZATION OF COOK COUNTY; Democratic County Central Committee of Cook County and all its members; George W. Dunne, Individually and as President of the Board of County Commissioners of Cook County, as President of the Board of Commissioners of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, and as Chairman of the Democratic County Central Committee of Cook County; City of Chicago, a Municipal Corporation; Jane R. Byrne, Mayor of the City of Chicago; Morgan M. Finley, Individually and as Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County; Edward J. Rosewell, Individually and as Treasurer of Cook County, Stanley J. Kusper, Jr., Individually and as Clerk of Cook County; Thomas C. Hynes, Individually and as Assessor of Cook County; Forest Preserve District of Cook County, a Municipal Corporation; Richard J. Elrod, Individually and as Sheriff of Cook County; the Chicago Park District, a Municipal Corporation; et al., Defendants.
United States District Court, N. D. Illinois, E. D.
September 24, 1979.
C. Richard Johnson, Chicago, Ill., for plaintiffs.
William R. Quinlan, Corp. Counsel, Foran, Wiss & Schultz, John A. Dienner, Asst. State's Atty., Peter Fitzpatrick, Chicago, Ill., for defendants.
BUA, District Judge.
This is a class action brought under the first amendment, the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment, and 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985, challenging the patronage practices of the regular Democratic and Republican Party organizations in most of the Northern District of Illinois. Plaintiffs are independent candidates, voters, and taxpayers. The defendants include various government officers at the state and local levels, local government entities, and local organizations and officials of the two major political parties. Plaintiffs' principal theory is that the use of state and local government patronage power to coerce political support for the regular Party organizations and their candidates violates independents' rights to fair and equal participation in the electoral process. By way of redress, plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief.
This case has a long history in this court. A 1969 dismissal of this action by Judge Marovitz was reversed by the Seventh Circuit in 1970. Following that reversal, plaintiffs entered into a consent decree with many of the Democratic and Republican defendants. The consent decree resolved most of the issues as to those defendants. Stipulations of fact were then filed as to (1) the remaining issues between plaintiffs and the Democratic defendants who are parties to the consent decree, and (2) all issues between plaintiffs and the Democratic defendants who are not parties to the consent decree. These matters are now before the court on cross-motions for summary judgment.
Plaintiff Shakman is a resident of the City of Chicago and the County of Cook. Running in his home district, Shakman was an independent candidate in the November, 1969, election for delegates to the 1970 Illinois Constitutional Convention. At the time of that election, plaintiff Lurie was a resident of the same district. Lurie was one of those voters who supported Shakman's candidacy. In October, 1969, the plaintiffs filed the original complaint in this action, attacking the patronage practices of the regular Democratic Party organization in Chicago and Cook County. Those named as defendants included the City and its Mayor, various County officers, the Democratic County Central Committee, and the Democratic Organization of Cook County.
The primary factual allegations of the original complaint may be summarized as follows. The regular Democratic Party organization has long enjoyed a position of strong dominance in Chicago and in Cook County as a whole. This position has allegedly given the Democratic County Central Committee and the Democratic Organization
Thus, using governmental power and, directly or indirectly, public funds, the defendants allegedly control by coercion the political behavior of patronage employees. This enables the defendants to generate a massive political effort in favor of their organization and its candidates. The end result, plaintiffs claim, is a substantial electoral advantage for regular Democratic Party candidates, with a corresponding disadvantage to opposing candidates and voters.
Defendants' patronage practices were alleged to infringe, inter alia, (1) the rights of plaintiff Shakman, as an independent candidate, to associate with actual and potential supporters and to be free from invidious discrimination, (2) the rights of both plaintiffs, as independent voters, to associate and to cast their votes effectively in an electoral process free from substantial partisan interference, (3) the rights of both plaintiffs, as taxpayers, to be free from coerced political contributions to the Democratic Party organization and its candidates, and (4) the rights of the patronage employees to speak, vote, and associate. In addition to other relief, plaintiffs sought a permanent injunction in effect forbidding the use of any political considerations in employment practices of the government defendants.
The original complaint consisted of six counts. Counts I and IV sought relief on behalf of plaintiff Shakman and all other independent candidates similarly situated, including those in future elections. Counts II and V sought relief on behalf of both plaintiffs and all other independent voters similarly situated. Counts III and VI sought relief on behalf of both plaintiffs and all similarly situated taxpayers. Counts I, II, and III alleged the direct liability of each of the defendants for every wrong of which plaintiffs complained. Counts IV, V, and VI were corresponding counts alleging conspiracy liability.
Shortly after the complaint was filed, all of the defendants moved to dismiss it, raising a variety of arguments. Judge Marovitz granted these motions. Shakman v. Democratic Organization of Cook County, 310 F.Supp. 1398 (N.D.Ill.1969). Judge Marovitz's dismissal was based on the twin grounds that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue and that the allegations of the complaint were conclusory. Regarding standing, the court found that plaintiffs as candidates, voters, and taxpayers, could not assert the constitutional rights of patronage employees. 310 F.Supp. at 1401. Turning to the allegations that plaintiffs' own rights have been violated, the court reasoned that any violations of plaintiffs' own rights were merely derivative of the alleged violations of the rights of patronage employees. Id. In view of this disposition, the court found it unnecessary to determine whether plaintiffs' claims presented non-justiciable political questions. 310 F.Supp. at 1400.
The court then addressed two remaining questions of crucial importance: whether the alleged disadvantages to the interests of independent candidates and voters constituted a deprivation of any right or rights secured by the constitution, and whether the case was for any reason non-justiciable. In considering the status of plaintiffs' interests, the court referred to a number of Supreme Court decisions dealing with inequalities in election procedures, e. g., Moore v. Ogilvie, 394 U.S. 814, 89 S.Ct. 1493, 23 L.Ed.2d 1 (1969); Williams v. Rhodes, 393 U.S. 23, 89 S.Ct. 5, 21 L.Ed.2d 24 (1968); Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533, 84 S.Ct. 1362, 12 L.Ed.2d 506 (1964); Snowden v. Hughes, 321 U.S. 1, 64 S.Ct. 397, 88 L.Ed. 497 (1944). These cases were found to support the proposition that both a candidate's rights to an "equal chance" and a voter's right to an "equally effective voice" are entitled, under the equal protection clause, to protection from invidious official discrimination. The court recognized that in the present case these rights were allegedly impaired in a different manner than in the election procedure cases. Nevertheless, it found those cases to be controlling:
435 F.2d at 270.
Finally, the court rejected the argument that the case was nonjusticiable:
435 F.2d at 271.
After the Supreme Court denied certiorari, 402 U.S. 909, 91 S.Ct. 1383, 28 L.Ed.2d 650 (1971), settlement negotiations began. Several months later, all parties agreed, on certain conditions, to the entry of a consent decree. A copy of the proposed decree was tendered to the court in October, 1971. In essence, the decree purported to free those already hired as government employees from all coercion to make political contributions or to do political work, and from any form of employment discrimination based on political considerations. In a letter which accompanied the consent decree, the parties set forth the agreed preconditions to its entry. First, plaintiffs were to arrange to have the operative terms of the agreement apply as well to the Republican Governor's patronage in the Northern District of Illinois, and to the Chairman of the Republican County Central Committee of Cook County. Second, the consent decree was to be approved by the court as a settlement under Rule 23(e), Fed.R.Civ.P.
Pursuant to their agreement, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, adding counts VII and VIII. These counts contain allegations analogous to those in the original six counts, but directed toward the patronage practices of the regular Republican Party organization in the Northern District of Illinois outside the City of Chicago. Those named as defendants in counts VII and VIII include various state government officers, the Republican State Central Committee and its Chairman, the Republican County Central Committee for each of the eight counties then in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, and various government officers and Republican Party officials in the subject counties. Many of the Republicans, including the Governor and the Chairman and other members of the Republican County Central Committee of Cook County agreed to be bound by the terms of the proposed consent decree.
The court then certified classes of independent candidates, independent voters, and certain taxpayers on each of the eight counts of the amended complaint. Pursuant to Rule 23(e), notice of the proposed consent decree was given. In April, 1972, a hearing was held as to the propriety of the decree. Finally, on May 5, 1972, the court approved the proposed consent decree, and entered it.
The May 5, 1972, consent decree is attached as an appendix to this opinion. In its central provisions, the decree enjoined the defendants, their successors and agents, from "conditioning, basing, or knowingly prejudicing or affecting any term or aspect of governmental employment, with respect to one who is at the time already a governmental employee, upon or because of any political reason or factor," and from "knowingly causing or permitting any employee to do any partisan political work during the regular working hours of his or her governmental employment." Further, the decree specifically declared that "compulsory political financial contributions by any governmental employee, contractor or supplier" and "all compulsory or coerced political activity by any governmental employee" were prohibited, and that "once hired, a governmental employee is free from all compulsory political requirements in connection with his governmental employment." However, the decree expressly affirmed the rights of government employees to engage, voluntarily and on their own time, in any lawful political activity. Finally, the decree stated
Following entry of the consent decree, the various Democratic and Republican defendants who were not parties to the decree filed motions to dismiss. Judge Marovitz granted one of these motions in part. Shakman v. Democratic Organization of Cook County, 356 F.Supp. 1241 (N.D.Ill. 1972).
After Judge Marovitz ruled on the motions to dismiss, the plaintiffs and the two Democratic defendants who were not parties to the consent decree, Cook County Sheriff Elrod and the Chicago Park District, negotiated stipulated statements of fact regarding all issues remaining in the case.
Subsequently, the Democratic defendants who were parties to the consent decree began to negotiate with plaintiffs in an effort to resolve without trial the factual issues relevant to their remaining dispute over hiring practices. The negotiations continued until the summer of 1977. At their conclusion, the following defendants submitted agreed sets of responses to requests to admit:
Particular stipulations are discussed in greater detail below, see pp. 1342-1344, 1345-1349 infra, but the court will outline their scope here in order to facilitate full understanding of the legal issues.
The parties stipulated that in each ward of the City of Chicago and in many townships in Cook County there is a regular Democratic organization. The ward or township Democratic Party Committeeman is normally the head of the local organization, although certain regular organizations have separate heads in wards or townships controlled by "independents." The heads of the ward and township organizations sponsor candidates for public jobs with the City, Cook County, various County officers, the Forest Preserve District, and the Park District.
Preference in the hiring of employees for over 20,000 positions in these agencies is given to persons who have the sponsorship of a local organization head. Indeed, public notice of the availability of these jobs is not normally given. Usually, job applicants can only obtain Democratic sponsorship by having performed political precinct work or by promising to perform such work for candidates endorsed by the sponsor. Applicants will not normally be sponsored if they have been a worker for any political group opposed to the regular Democratic organization, although such persons are occasionally sponsored if they agree to switch political affiliations and work to support the regular Democratic organization. The sponsorship is usually communicated to the employing agency by means of a letter.
There are, on the average, over 250 governmental employees per ward in the City who were sponsored by the regular Democratic organization for their job. Since the City wards average about sixty precincts per ward, there are, on the average, about four patronage government employees in each precinct in the City. A significant number of these persons do political work on behalf of persons supported by sponsoring regular Democratic organization officials.
Most importantly, the defendants admit that the political precinct work done by these patronage workers "helps elect candidates supported by the various members of the Democratic County Central Committee." They also admit that "[t]his is one of the purposes of giving the preference in hiring." E. g., Response of City of Chicago to Request for Admission, at 3.
After the stipulations were completed, the plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment against two groups of Democratic defendants: (1) the "consenting defendants," consisting of the eight defendants who filed agreed answers to requests to admit, including the named individuals in their individual as well as official capacities, and Michael A. Bilandic, then mayor of Chicago, in both his individual and official capacities, and (2) the "non-consenting defendants," Cook County Sheriff Richard Elrod and the Chicago Park District. Plaintiffs' motion seeks determinations of liability as to the hiring practices of the consenting defendants and as to the full range of politically motivated employment practices of the non-consenting defendants. Plaintiffs ask that an injunction similar to the consent decree be entered immediately against the non-consenting defendants. They suggest, though, that the question of appropriate relief as to the defendants' hiring practices should be left for "subsequent resolution."
The stipulated admissions, affidavits, and testimony of the parties remove from the case all issues of material fact. Therefore, the court enters this opinion as a general discussion of the rationale for its decision on the ultimate issues of the case as raised by the pending motions for summary judgment. See 10 C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 2724, at 497-98; Munoz v. International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, 563 F.2d 205, 213 (5th Cir. 1977); Aluminum Co. of America v. Admiral Merchants Motor Freight, Inc., 337 F.Supp. 674, 688 (N.D.Ill.1972), aff'd, 486 F.2d 717 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 414 U.S. 1113, 94 S.Ct. 843, 38 L.Ed.2d 739 (1973).
II. PRELIMINARY LEGAL ISSUES RAISED BY THE PARTIES DO NOT CONTROL THIS CASE
Under normal procedures, the court would now evaluate the factual record in light of the legal standard set out in the court of appeals' remand opinion. It would scrutinize that record to determine if "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and . . . [if] the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R.Civ.P. 56(c); see, e. g., Cedillo v. International Association of Bridge Workers, 603 F.2d 7, 9 (7th Cir. 1979). Both parties claim that upon completing this task, the court will find that they are entitled to summary judgment.
Both the defendants and the plaintiffs, though, also urge the court to consider a preliminary argument. The defendants argue that the Supreme Court's decisions invoking the principles of comity and federalism show that this court must refrain from granting the plaintiffs any relief. The plaintiffs state that the Supreme Court's decision in Elrod v. Burns, 427 U.S. 347, 96 S.Ct. 2673, 49 L.Ed.2d 547 (1976), which outlawed political patronage firing practices, is directly applicable to the facts of this case and requires the court to rule in the plaintiffs' favor. Each side says that if the court rules in its favor on its claim, the court need not reach the more difficult questions required by the normal approach.
A. The Plaintiffs' Cause of Action Is Not Impermissibly Inconsistent With the Principles of Federalism and Comity
The defendants, in their cross-motions for summary judgment, claim that the plaintiffs' cause of action impermissibly interferes with certain interests in federalism and comity recognized by recent Supreme Court cases. See, e. g., Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215, 96 S.Ct. 2532, 49 L.Ed.2d 451 (1976); Bishop v. Wood, 426 U.S. 341, 96 S.Ct. 2074, 48 L.Ed.2d 684 (1976); Paul v. Davis, 424 U.S. 693, 96 S.Ct. 1155, 47 L.Ed.2d 405 (1976); Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 96 S.Ct. 598, 46 L.Ed.2d 561 (1976); Mayor v. Educational Equality League, 415 U.S. 605, 94 S.Ct. 1323, 39 L.Ed.2d 630 (1974); O'Shea v. Littleton, 414 U.S. 488, 94 S.Ct. 669, 38 L.Ed.2d 614 (1974). They claim that granting the plaintiffs any relief would impermissibly interfere in the ongoing conduct of state government and violate fundamental principles of our federal system.
The court believes this argument is nothing more than an attempt to relitigate the issues of standing, justiciability, and the existence of a political question. Those issues were decided against the defendants by the court of appeals in the Shakman opinion, 435 F.2d 267, 270-71 (7th Cir. 1970), and that decision is the law of the case.
The defendants' talk of "dual sovereignties" will not be allowed to obscure the true issues in this case. Even though local authorities have the primary responsibility for dealing with local matters, if local authorities fail in their obligations under federal law, federal judicial authority may be invoked. See, e. g., Milliken v. Bradley, 433 U.S. 267, 280-81, 97 S.Ct. 2749, 53 L.Ed.2d 745 (1977); Elrod, 426 U.S. at 352, 96 S.Ct. 2673 (1976) (plurality opinion); Brown v. Board of Education, 349 U.S. 294, 299, 75 S.Ct. 753, 99 L.Ed. 1083 (1955); Metropolitan Housing Development Corp. v. Village of Arlington Heights, 469 F.Supp. 836, 852-53 (N.D.Ill.1979).
B. The Supreme Court's Patronage Ruling in Elrod v. Burns Is Not Dispositive
The plaintiffs invite this court to hold that a subsequent legal development entitles them to relief on grounds separate from those suggested by the Seventh Circuit's Shakman decision.
Such an argument is very straightforward. The lead opinion in Elrod, written by Justice Brennan for a plurality of three Justices, found that the practice of patronage places substantial restraints on freedoms of belief and association.
427 U.S. at 357, 96 S.Ct. at 2682. The plurality opinion then rejected several proffered justifications for the practice of patronage firing, including the absence of any right to government employment, id. at 360-61, 96 S.Ct. 2673, the need to ensure effective government and the efficiency of public employees, id., at 364-66, 96 S.Ct. 2673, the increased accountability to the public of patronage employees, id., at 366-67, 96 S.Ct. 2673, the need for political loyalty of employees in order to assure that representative government is not undercut by obstructionist tactics, id., at 367-68, 96 S.Ct. 2673, and the preservation of the democratic process, id., at 368-72, 96 S.Ct. 2673.
There is no question that the rationale of the Elrod plurality opinion is applicable to the facts of this case.
When the Seventh Circuit held that the plaintiffs' complaint in this case stated a cause of action, it did so because the plaintiffs alleged that the challenged patronage practices, if proven, infringed the plaintiffs' own rights as candidates and voters. Such an infringement creates a case or controversy between the plaintiffs and the defendants and gives this court so-called "constitutional" standing under Article III to adjudicate the complete legality of the challenged practices. See Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 498-99, 95 S.Ct. 2197, 45 L.Ed.2d 343 (1975); Frissell v. Rizzo, 597 F.2d 840, 843 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 100 S.Ct. 82, 62 L.Ed.2d 54 (1979). Alone, though, that is not enough to give the court final standing to proceed. The court must also apply certain non-constitutional, "prudential" standing rules to determine whether the plaintiffs are the proper parties to raise the job applicants' interests. See Silva v. Bell, 605 F.2d 978, 984 (7th Cir. 1979).
III. THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR REVIEWING THE CHALLENGED PRACTICES
A. The Shakman Decision Does Not Provide Clear Guidance to This Court as to the Applicable Legal Framework for This Case
In the years since the Seventh Circuit decided Shakman, the Supreme Court has developed a more complicated analytical framework for evaluating the constitutional validity of government laws or practices that are alleged to infringe on the first and fourteenth amendment rights of candidates and voters. In most recent first and fourteenth amendment cases, the Court specifically identifies the protected constitutional interests that are infringed. It then applies a balancing or strict scrutiny test, as appropriate,
435 F.2d at 270.
At first glance, the court of appeals decision appears to be lacking in instructions to this court as to how this court should proceed under a later-developed constitutional analysis. In the first paragraph, the court mentioned that "some aspects" of the rights asserted by the plaintiffs are "secured from state action by the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment." In the second paragraph, the court said that certain of the plaintiffs' "interests" were "entitled to constitutional protection." Though the third and fourth paragraphs have some specific language, the opinion concludes "that these interests are entitled to constitutional protection from injury of the nature alleged as well as from injury resulting from inequality in election procedure."
There are two apparent gaps in the opinion that make analysis difficult. First, while there is general discussion of the protected nature of "the voter's interest in a voice in government of equal effectiveness with other voters" and a right of some sort to protection "from injury resulting from inequality in election procedure," these rights do not appear to be precisely defined and their scope is not stated. Second, while the court of appeals repeatedly used the phrase "constitutional protection," it did not define the nature of that protection. The equal protection clause has been construed to provide protection against all government decisions to the extent that it forbids irrational classifications among those upon whom a challenged law or practice acts. See e.g., Williamson v. Lee Optical Co., 348 U.S. 483, 75 S.Ct. 461, 99 L.Ed. 563 (1955); Royster Guano Co. v. Virginia, 253 U.S. 412, 40 S.Ct. 560, 64 L.Ed. 989 (1920); Brest, Palmer v. Thompson: An Approach to the Problem of Unconstitutional Legislative Motivation, 1971 Sup.Ct.Rev. 95, 106-07. If the court of appeals meant to refer solely to this general protection, the challenged patronage practices would be subject to only a weak standard of review. See generally, e.g., San Antonio School District v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1, 93 S.Ct. 1278, 36 L.Ed.2d 16 (1973). If the Seventh Circuit intended that this court apply a heightened form of judicial scrutiny, whether through a balancing test or through strict scrutiny, it failed to identify the manner in which this court would proceed. Thus, this court will have to turn to other, subsequent decisions in order to perform the necessary constitutional analysis of the factual stipulations submitted by the parties.
Unfortunately, the Supreme Court and the Seventh Circuit have followed more than one approach in analyzing possible infringements of first and fourteenth amendment rights. See Woodward v. City of Deerfield Beach, 538 F.2d 1081, 1082 n.1 (5th Cir. 1976).
This court will first undertake a "traditional" analysis of the challenged patronage practices to determine whether protected constitutional interests have been infringed. It will also evaluate the challenged practices against the group of Seventh Circuit cases that present factual circumstances most similar to those in the instant case. After concluding under both tests that the protected constitutional rights of the plaintiffs are infringed by the defendants' conduct, the court will strictly scrutinize those practices to determine whether they can be constitutionally justified.
B. A Constitutional Analysis of the First and Fourteenth Amendment Interests at Stake
The purposeful attempt of the defendants to hinder independent candidates burdens central first and fourteenth amendment values.
The defendants' patronage hiring practices directly burden the plaintiff candidates' interests in running successfully for public office. Such a burden, however, is not by itself an infringement of constitutionally protected rights, for the Supreme Court has never recognized that interest alone as warranting special first amendment protection or as being a fundamental right under the equal protection clause. See Bullock v. Carter, 405 U.S. 134, 142-43, 92 S.Ct. 849, 31 L.Ed.2d 92 (1972); Trafelet v. Thompson, 594 F.2d 623, 632 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 100 S.Ct. 219, 62 L.Ed.2d 142 (1979); Newcomb v. Brennan, 558 F.2d 825, 828 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 968, 98 S.Ct. 513, 54 L.Ed.2d 455 (1977). Instead, the Supreme Court and Seventh Circuit have recognized three closely related interests meriting special constitutional protection that are infringed or otherwise burdened by the defendants' challenged conduct. See Newcomb v. Brennan, 558 F.2d 825, 828 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 968, 98 S.Ct. 513, 54 L.Ed.2d 455 (1977); Note, Newcomb v. Brennan: The Right of a Public Employee to Seek Political Office, 73 Nw.U.L.Rev. 533, 535-37 (1978). They are: (1) the interests of the plaintiff candidates in political expression; (2) the interests of the plaintiff voters and candidates in association for the advancement of their political beliefs; (3) the interests of the plaintiff voters in equal participation in the electoral process. Taken together, see Morial v. Judiciary Commission of Louisiana, 565 F.2d 295, 301 (5th Cir. 1977) (en banc) (infringed interests must be aggregated to determine the degree of the constitutional violation), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 1013, 98 S.Ct. 1887, 56 L.Ed.2d 395 (1978), these interests give a candidate a protected constitutional interest in freedom from official discrimination on the basis of his political beliefs.
1. The candidates interest in political expression
Freedom from government-imposed restrictions on the content of belief or expression is the central premise of free speech as guaranteed by the first amendment.
To the extent that the allegations of the present complaint are true, see pp. 1344-1349, infra, the defendants have clearly burdened the plaintiff candidates' rights of free political belief and expression. As noted above, impairment of a candidate's efforts to obtain public office can not, in itself, be equated with interference with protected first amendment freedoms. Trafelet v. Thompson, 594 F.2d 623, 632 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 100 S.Ct. 219, 62 L.Ed.2d 142 (1979); Newcomb v. Brennan, 558 F.2d 825, 828 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 968, 98 S.Ct. 513, 54 L.Ed.2d 455 (1977); see Bullock v. Carter, 405 U.S. 134, 143, 92 S.Ct. 849, 31 L.Ed.2d 92 (1972). Here, however, it is alleged that the defendants have intentionally used the power of the state to impede plaintiffs' candidacies because plaintiffs have chosen to run in opposition to the Democratic organization. Where state officials burden an individual's candidacy in order to discourage opposition to some more favored candidate or viewpoint, their actions constitute a punishment based on the content of a communicative act. Newcomb v. Brennan, 558 F.2d at 828.
Police Department of Chicago v. Mosley, 408 U.S. 92, 95-96, 92 S.Ct. 2286, 2292, 33 L.Ed.2d 212 (1972) (citation omitted); Collin v. Smith, 578 F.2d 1197, 1202 (7th Cir.) (quoting Mosley), cert. denied, 439 U.S. 916, 99 S.Ct. 291, 58 L.Ed.2d 264 (1978). "[T]he essence of the first amendment is its denial to government of the power to determine which message shall be heard and which suppressed. . . ." Karst, Equality as a Central Principle in the First Amendment, 43 U.Chi.L.Rev. 20, 28 (1975) (discussing Mosley). "[A] concern about content . . . is never permitted." Mosley, 408 U.S. at 99, 92 S.Ct. at 2290 (citation omitted).
2. Freedom of association
Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209, 233, 97 S.Ct. 1782, 1799, 52 L.Ed.2d 261 (1977). The right of association is closely allied to freedom of speech and, like free
In the present case, the defendants have burdened the rights of the plaintiff candidates and voters to associate. The Supreme Court has repeatedly stated that candidacy restrictions which have the effect of excluding certain candidates from the ballot burden the associational rights of those candidates and their supporters by rendering less valuable their freedom to collectively advance political ideas. E. g., Illinois State Board of Elections v. Socialist Workers Party, 440 U.S. 173, 188, 99 S.Ct. 983, 990, 59 L.Ed.2d 230 (1979); Williams v. Rhodes, 393 U.S. 23, 89 S.Ct. 5, 21 L.Ed.2d 24 (1968). In much the same way, when the state acts to oppose the electoral efforts of certain candidates on the ballot, it renders less valuable the associational rights of those candidates and their supporters.
3. Equal participation in the electoral process
There is no constitutional right to vote, as such. Nevertheless, the equal protection clause confers the substantive right to participate on an equal basis with other qualified voters whenever the state has adopted an electoral process for determining who will represent any segment of the state's population. Lubin v. Panish, 415 U.S. 709, 713-14, 94 S.Ct. 1315, 39 L.Ed.2d 702 (1974); San Antonio School District v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1, 59 n.2, 93 S.Ct. 1278, 36 L.Ed.2d 16 (1973) (Stewart, J., concurring); Kramer v. Union School District, 395 U.S. 621, 89 S.Ct. 1886, 23 L.Ed.2d 583 (1968); Dunn v. Blumstein, 405 U.S. 330, 336, 92 S.Ct. 995, 31 L.Ed.2d 274 (1971). "[E]ach and every citizen has an inalienable right to full and effective participation in the political process . . .." Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533, 565, 84 S.Ct. 1362, 1383, 12 L.Ed.2d 506 (1964). This right of qualified voters to cast their votes effectively is clearly fundamental. E. g., Illinois State Board of Elections v. Socialist Workers Party, 440 U.S. 173, 188, 99 S.Ct. 983, 990, 59 L.Ed.2d 230 (1979). "No right is more precious in a free country than that of having a voice in the election of those who make the laws under which, as good citizens, we must live. Other rights, even the most basic, are illusory if the right to vote is undermined." Williams v. Rhodes, 393 U.S. 23, 31, 89 S.Ct. 5, 10, 21 L.Ed.2d 24 (1968). Thus, "[t]he right to vote freely for the candidate of one's choice is of the essence of a democratic society, and any restrictions on that right strike at the heart of representative government." Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533, 555, 84 S.Ct. 1362, 1378, 12 L.Ed.2d 506 (1964). Since voters can only express their rights by voting for particular candidates, aspects of candidacy are "intertwined" with the rights of voters. Lubin v. Panish, 415 U.S. 709, 716, 94 S.Ct. 1315, 39 L.Ed.2d 702 (1974).
The allegations of the present complaint indicate that the defendants have interfered with the rights of the plaintiff voters to equal participation in the electoral process. Shakman v. Democratic Organization of Cook County, 435 F.2d 267, 270 (7th Cir. 1970), cert. denied, 402 U.S. 909, 91 S.Ct. 1383, 28 L.Ed.2d 650 (1971). Equal electoral participation "can be denied by a debasement or dilution of the weight of a citizen's vote just as effectively as by wholly prohibiting the exercise of the franchise." Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533, 555, 84 S.Ct. 1362, 1378, 12 L.Ed.2d 506 (1964); see Karst, Equality as a Central Principle in the First Amendment, 43 U.Chi.L.Rev. 20, 57
C. The Candidates' Interest in Freedom from Official Discrimination on the Basis of Their Political Beliefs — The Ballot Placement Cases
1. The two-part Bohus test
The analysis conducted in Section B, pp. 1331-1335 supra, demonstrates that if the allegations of the complaint are true, the patronage practices challenged in the complaint infringe the first and fourteenth amendment rights of the plaintiff candidates and voters. As noted above, it is helpful in considering the implications of this legal conclusion to carefully review those Supreme Court and Seventh Circuit cases which present factual settings closest to the present case. Cf. Morial v. Judiciary Commission of Louisiana, 565 F.2d 295, 304 (5th Cir. 1977) (en banc) (first and fourteenth amendment analytical approaches should both be applied, even though result will normally be the same), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 1013, 98 S.Ct. 1887, 56 L.Ed.2d 395 (1978). In so doing, this court can have the benefit of the analytical framework used by higher courts in the most closely analogous setting.
Of all the cases dealing with the rights of candidates and voters, the line of cases that is most directly applicable to the facts of this case is the line of ballot placement cases. Ballot access cases, for example, usually allege the effectively complete exclusion of certain candidates or types of candidates from the ballot. Suffrage cases involve either the total exclusion of a class of voters from the electoral process or an identifiable dilution and debasement of their vote. Ballot placement cases, however, involve allegations of governmental interference with the equality of the electoral process in a manner and to a degree similar to that charged in the present case. In ballot placement cases, unlike ballot access cases, the government has not excluded any candidate or candidates from the electoral process. Instead, the government is charged, as in the present case, with acting so as to favor, to some relatively small degree, certain candidates because of their political affiliation.
In recent years, the Seventh Circuit has decided a clearly discernible line of ballot placement cases. Board of Election Commissioners v. Libertarian Party, 591 F.2d 22 (7th Cir.), cert. denied 442 U.S. 918, 99 S.Ct. 2840, 61 L.Ed.2d 285 (1979); Sangmeister v. Woodard, 565 F.2d 460 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 939, 98 S.Ct. 1516, 55 L.Ed.2d 535 (1977); Baum v. Lunding, 535 F.2d 1016 (7th Cir. 1976); Bohus v. Board of Education, 447 F.2d 821 (7th Cir. 1971); Weisberg v. Powell, 417 F.2d 388 (7th Cir. 1969) (per curiam). In these cases, the Seventh Circuit has analyzed the effect of various ballot placement schemes on voters' and candidates' interests in political expression, association, and equal participation in the electoral process. The consistent holding of these cases has been that "[a] successful challenge to ballot placement procedure under the equal protection clause requires a showing of `an intentional or purposeful discrimination by authorities in which one class is favored over another.' Bohus v. Board of Election Commissioners, 447 F.2d at 822." Board of Election Commissioners v. Libertarian Party, 591 F.2d at 25.
2. The degree of advantage required
The parties disagree as to the degree of advantage required by Bohus. The defendants present two arguments in support of their contention that the plaintiffs must satisfy a higher burden than the mere showing of "an advantage." First, they argue that the court of appeals' decision in this case requires that the plaintiffs show a "substantial, perhaps massive," 435 F.2d at 270, advantage in order to prove their case. Even if such a high standard is not necessary, they argue that the plaintiffs must at least demonstrate that the challenged patronage practices provide the defendants with a significant advantage, which they say the undisputed facts do not show here.
a. A "substantial, perhaps massive" advantage is not required
The defendants' first argument is based on a slight misreading of certain language in the court of appeals decision. What the court of appeals actually said was:
435 F.2d at 270 (emphasis added). This court does not construe the quoted language as requiring the plaintiffs to prove even a "substantial, perhaps massive, political effort" in order to prevail. Rather, the quoted language appears merely to be a characterization by the Seventh Circuit of the allegations of the plaintiffs' complaint.
In any event, the defendants err when they claim that the plaintiffs must show a "substantial, perhaps massive," advantage accrues to the regular Democrats due to the defendants' patronage practices. Such a claim is erroneous, for neither the Shakman opinion nor any other authority supports their attempt to apply the quoted language to the degree of advantage required by Bohus.
b. An actual, significant advantage is required
There is a legitimate argument, though, over the amount of the advantage that must be shown by the plaintiffs under the Bohus test. It is a general rule of constitutional law that heightened judicial scrutiny is not appropriate unless some significant effect has been felt on a protected interest. Unless there is more than a de minimus impact on the plaintiffs' interest in equal participation as candidates and voters in the electoral process, the plaintiffs cannot prove a constitutional violation, see Duren v. Missouri, 439 U.S. 357, 368, n.26, 99 S.Ct. 664, 670 n.26 (1979) (dictim) (both purpose and effect are necessary to an equal protection violation); Storer v. Brown, 415 U.S. 724, 729, 94 S.Ct. 1274, 1279, 39 L.Ed.2d 714 (1974) ("substantial burdens on the right to vote or to associate for political purposes are constitutionally suspect") (primary affiliation case); Kusper v. Pontikes, 414 U.S. 51, 58, 94 S.Ct. 303, 308, 38 L.Ed.2d 260 (1973) (heightened scrutiny required when there is "a `significant interference' with the exercise of the constitutionally protected right of free association") (citation omitted) (primary affiliation case); Bullock v. Carter, 405 U.S. 134, 143-44, 92 S.Ct. 849, 856, 31 L.Ed.2d 92 (1972) (strict scrutiny mandated where a restriction on the right to vote has a "real and appreciable impact on the exercise of the franchise") (filing fee case); Socialist Workers Party v. March Fong Eu, 591 F.2d 1252, 1260-61 & 1261 n.5 (9th Cir. 1978) ("more than insubstantial" burden required) (following Storer) (ballot identification case); cert. denied, 441 U.S. 946, 99 S.Ct. 2167, 60 L.Ed.2d 1049 (1979); Antonio v. Kirkpatrick, 579 F.2d 1147 (8th Cir. 1978) (following Bullock) (residency requirement case), and will not be entitled to relief, see Mt. Healthy City School Board of Education v. Doyle, 429 U.S. 274, 97 S.Ct. 568, 50 L.Ed.2d 471 (1977); Village of Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Development Corp., 429 U.S. 252, 270 n.21, 97 S.Ct. 555, 50 L.Ed.2d 450 (1977); cf. Milliken v. Bradley, 418 U.S. 717, 94 S.Ct. 3112, 41 L.Ed.2d 1069 (1974) (scope of remedy is limited to the scope of the violation). Thus, this court must construe the "an advantage" test to require some showing that an actual, significant advantage is received by the favored candidates.
An early expression of this requirement can be found in the Seventh Circuit's decision in Weisberg v. Powell, 417 F.2d 388 (7th Cir. 1969). There, the court of appeals evaluated a similar contention by the defendants in a ballot placement case.
417 F.2d at 392 (emphasis added). The Weisberg statement remains good law. See Culliton v. Board of Election Commissioners, 419 F.Supp. 126, 127-28 (N.D.Ill.1976) (quoting Weisberg), aff'd sub nom. Sangmeister v. Woodard, 565 F.2d 460, 465 (7th Cir.) (citing Weisberg), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 939, 98 S.Ct. 1516, 55 L.Ed.2d 535 (1977). See also Smith v. Cherry, 489 F.2d 1098, 1102-03 (7th Cir. 1973) (per curiam), cert. denied, 417 U.S. 910, 94 S.Ct. 2607, 41 L.Ed.2d 214 (1974).
Thus, the Seventh Circuit ballot placement cases show that the advantage need not be a massive or overwhelming one. It need not be the only, or the dominant factor in deciding elections. The plaintiffs, in order to prevail, must show no more than that the challenged patronage practices are a significant advantage, an advantage that will help the regular Democrats win some elections.
The foregoing discussion of the ballot placement cases demonstrates that, even though there is no right to run for office, the rights of voters and candidates
As in other first and fourteenth amendment cases, the defendants will then be obliged to demonstrate that the challenged law or practice can survive strict constitutional scrutiny, i.e., that the challenged law or practice is necessary to the achievement of a compelling government interest. See Board of Election Commissioners v. Libertarian Party, 591 F.2d at 25; pp. 1349-1350 infra.
D. The Bohus Test is Consistent with General Theories of Fourteenth Amendment Motivation Analysis and with the Shakman Decision
1. General Theory
The preceding sections have analyzed a candidate's interest in running for office in the manner usually applied in such cases, and have identified a test that is applicable to the present case. The origins of the Bohus test, and its necessary applicability to the Shakman case, are not immediately apparent. Closer investigation reveals that the Bohus test is in fact derived from general principles of fourteenth amendment equal protection analysis. See Sangmeister v. Woodard, 565 F.2d 460, 467 (7th Cir.) (Bohus test must be construed consistently with Washington v. Davis, 426 U.S. 229, 96 S.Ct. 2040, 48 L.Ed.2d 597 ), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 939, 98 S.Ct. 1516, 55 L.Ed.2d 535 (1977).
In recent years, the Supreme Court has decided several cases which discuss the scope of judicial review of improper legislative motivation under the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment. The most important of these cases, Washington v. Davis, 426 U.S. 229, 96 S.Ct. 2040, 48 L.Ed.2d 597 (1976), disapproved several earlier cases which had held that courts could not review a legislative or administrative decision to determine whether the decision's motivation had been proper.
One commentator who has written extensively on the problems of motivation analysis is Professor John Hart Ely.
Ely, Centrality and Limits, 15 San Diego L.Rev. at 1160-61 (emphasis in original) (footnotes omitted) (citing Ely, Legislative and Administrative Motivation, 79 Yale L.J. at 1281-84).
Applying Professor Ely's insight to the Shakman and Bohus cases, the foundation for the Seventh Circuit's approach in this area becomes apparent. If a candidate has a right to candidacy, no special motivation scrutiny would be appropriate. Any government action that adversely burdened, affected, or impacted upon that candidacy would be subject to heightened judicial scrutiny. Without a right to candidacy, judicial review protects plaintiffs' candidacies, per se, only from those government decisions that are improperly motivated. Thus, it is entirely appropriate that a candidate can be protected from official discrimination against his or her candidacy because of his or her beliefs,
The Shakman case, when read with the ballot placement cases, can therefore be seen as holding that government action that deliberately uses the patronage system to favor one candidate over another is improperly motivated for purposes of motivation analysis.
435 F.2d at 270.
2. A showing of coercion is not required by the Shakman decision.
There is one possible difference in theory between the Seventh Circuit's Shakman opinion and the later case law discussed above. In the Shakman decision, the court of appeals may have assumed that proof that the patronage employees' political activity was coerced was a necessary part of the plaintiffs' case.
The recent Supreme Court and Seventh Circuit case law necessarily implies that proof of coercion is not an essential part of the plaintiffs' case. If independent candidates and voters have a protected constitutional entitlement to freedom from official discrimination against their candidacies and votes on the basis of their political beliefs, that right will be violated by any scheme of patronage employment that uses government jobs to elect government supported candidates. Whether the political precinct work done by the patronage workers is coerced becomes irrelevant for the purpose of proving the violation.
IV. THE CHALLENGED PATRONAGE PRACTICES INFRINGE UPON THE PLAINTIFFS' FIRST AND FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT INTERESTS
The patronage practices challenged in this case infringe upon the plaintiffs' first and fourteenth amendment interests, for the stipulated admissions made by the defendants satisfy the two-part Bohus test. The court's decision evaluates the factual matter in the light of two legal standards which govern its organization of the facts.
A. The Legal Standards Applied in Interpreting the Facts
1. The standard for summary judgment
Both sides have attempted to avoid a trial in this case by stipulating to facts which each party hoped would be sufficient for a grant of summary judgment in its favor. The court recognizes that to find for either party on a motion for summary judgment, the court must determine that a high burden of proof has been met.
Cedillo v. International Association of Bridge Workers, 603 F.2d 7, 10, (7th Cir. 1979).
Even though the standard for granting a summary judgment is high, a court must not shrink from granting a summary judgment where it is appropriate.
Kirk v. Home Indemnity Co., 431 F.2d 554, 560 (7th Cir. 1970).
2. Conspiracy liability
Taken together, the admissions of the defendants, when combined with the uncontroverted affidavits of the plaintiffs, establish that if the patronage practices of the defendants were unconstitutional, the defendants were engaged in a civil conspiracy to commit them. The law of civil conspiracy was recently restated by the Seventh Circuit in Hampton v. Hanrahan, 600 F.2d 600, 620-25 (7th Cir. 1979).
The stipulated admissions of the defendants, together with the other evidentiary matter before the court, establishes that there was a conspiracy among the defendants to deprive the plaintiffs of the rights discussed in Part III, p. 1329-1341 supra. Sheriff Elrod's stipulations indicate the scope of the conspiracy. He admitted that there is a regular practice among the defendants of using public employment for
The Sheriff's other admissions are typical of those made by all the defendants, although his language is unusually frank. As stated on pages 15-16 of his stipulation:
The stipulations and admissions of the other consenting and non-consenting defendants are generally similar. They demonstrate that all defendants understand the nature of and participated in this "practice," which can be characterized in technical language as a "common plan."
All of the defendants in question have admitted that they are aware that members of the Democratic Central Committee regularly sponsor applicants for employment to the defendant government officials' agencies. They have also admitted that they are
The defendants have produced no evidentiary matter to refute the material submitted by the plaintiffs.
The liability of each defendant for all challenged practices is not absolute. In this case, the consenting defendants have renounced, through the consent decree, the use of patronage firing and promotion practices. The plaintiffs have tendered no evidence to suggest that the consenting defendants condone the non-consenting defendants' continued refusal to abjure such practices. Thus, the consenting defendants are not responsible for those practices.
Therefore, in analyzing the constitutionality of the challenged practices, each defendant will be accountable for the hiring practices of all the defendants currently before the court. In addition, the nonconsenting defendants will also be held accountable for their own and each other's patronage firing and promotion practices.
B. The Plaintiffs Have Proved Both Parts of the Bohus Test
1. The illegitimate purpose is conceded
The first part of the Bohus test is not even arguable in this case. The defendants have freely admitted that "one of the purposes of giving the preference in hiring" is to "help . . . elect candidates supported by the various members of the Democratic County Central Committee." This necessarily involves a deliberate discrimination against the plaintiff candidates and
2. The Challenged Patronage Practices Give the Defendants an Advantage in Elections
The court also concludes that there is no genuine issue of material fact concerning the question of whether the challenged patronage practices give the defendants an actual, significant advantage in elections. Based on the stipulated admissions of the parties, the court can only conclude that the plaintiffs have demonstrated the existence of such an advantage.
a. The consenting defendants
The defendant Democratic County Central Committee for Cook County made, inter alia, the following admissions with respect to the claims made against each of the consenting defendants:
Similar admissions are made by the other consenting defendants.
Taking all inferences in favor of the defendant, the next-to-last sentence necessarily
The only way that the consenting defendants could avoid summary judgment on this issue would be by showing that the challenged patronage hiring practices are somehow not responsible for the patronage work done by patronage workers. If the precinct work would be done absent the patronage system, or more specifically, if sponsored patronage employees were people who would do precinct political work even if they did not have patronage jobs and had no prospect of or interest in getting them, then it could not be said that the challenged patronage hiring practices provide "an advantage" in elections. Thus, the defendants have made some arguments in the briefs that attempt to raise a genuine issue
The court holds that the matter submitted by the defendants is not, however, sufficient to create a genuine issue of material fact. Although the defendants have submitted evidence that indicates that some patronage employees do work on a voluntary basis after they obtain their jobs, they have not submitted evidence in any form that any patronage employee who does political precinct work would voluntarily do the same work even if he did not have, and could never obtain, a patronage job. Since the consenting defendants' responses do not "set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial," summary judgment is properly entered against them.
b. The non-consenting defendants
Since the court holds that there is no genuine issue of material fact between the plaintiffs and the consenting defendants, it must hold, a fortiori, that there is no genuine issue of material fact between the plaintiffs and the non-consenting defendants. The non-consenting defendants, as members of the same conspiracy as the consenting defendants, are responsible for the acts and admissions of the consenting defendants that were taken within the scope of the conspiracy and in furtherance thereof. See p. 1344 supra. That alone is sufficient to justify a finding that the non-consenting defendants have not raised a genuine issue of material fact as to whether their practices, when combined with those of the consenting defendants, infringe upon the plaintiffs' protected first and fourteenth amendment rights.
In addition, the non-consenting defendants are responsible for the effects upon the electoral process of their own patronage promotion and firing practices. There can be no doubt that these practices are far more coercive upon current employees than are the consenting defendants' patronage hiring practices, and they are far more likely than the hiring practices to cause current employees to do precinct political work.
The non-consenting defendants claim that even though at one point they may have been liable for their patronage firing practices, they should not now be held responsible for them. This claim is based on two separate arguments. First, the defendants say that they have not conducted any patronage firings in recent years. Second, they argue that since the Supreme Court's decision in Elrod v. Burns, 427 U.S. 347, 96 S.Ct. 2673, 49 L.Ed.2d 547 (1976), has effectively outlawed patronage firing practices, this court need not rule on those practices.
Both arguments are insufficient. As to the first, the defendants have never renounced, with legal sufficiency, the use of their patronage firing powers. Absent such a renunciation, the plaintiffs' claim on this ground is not mooted.
As to the second argument, the plaintiffs' claim against the defendants' firing practices is legally distinct from the claim brought by the fired patronage employee in Elrod v. Burns. See pp. 1327-1329 supra. The non-consenting defendants have cited no cases that would suggest that the plaintiffs here are not entitled to a legal determination of their own claim, so that they may obtain direct enforcement from this court of any violation of their own rights that may occur.
The court therefore holds that the non-consenting defendants have independently infringed the plaintiffs' constitutional rights through their use of patronage hiring, firing, and promotion practices, as well as through their conspiracy with the consenting defendants to practice and further patronage hiring practices.
V. NO COMPELLING GOVERNMENT INTEREST IS NECESSARILY FURTHERED BY THE CHALLENGED PATRONAGE PRACTICES
A. The Legal Standard
Whether analyzed under the first or the fourteenth amendment, the challenged patronage practices must survive exacting scrutiny. Under the first amendment, significant government interferences
The fourteenth amendment analytical framework is similar. Government decisions which are based on impermissible classifications are subject to the strictest scrutiny. Zablocki v. Redhail, 434 U.S. 374, 388, 98 S.Ct. 673, 54 L.Ed.2d 618 (1978); Bullock v. Carter, 405 U.S. 134, 144, 92 S.Ct. 849, 31 L.Ed.2d 92 (1972); San Antonio School District v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1, 18-29, 93 S.Ct. 1278, 36 L.Ed.2d 16 (1973). Such classifications must reflect a compelling government interest, and be closely tailored so that no less drastic means is available towards meeting those interests. See Illinois State Board of Elections v. Socialist Workers Party, 440 U.S. 173, 184-185, 99 S.Ct. 983, 991, 59 L.Ed.2d 230 (1979) (collecting cases). See generally Note, Legislative Purpose, Rationality, and Equal Protection, 82 Yale L.J. 123 (1972).
Viewed under either first or fourteenth amendment analysis, the patronage practices challenged by the plaintiffs cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny. Indeed, the defendants have failed to put into issue sufficient facts to properly raise these interests. Even if they had, the interests raised are insufficient to justify the infringements of the plaintiffs' rights that the court has found in this case.
B. The Defendants Have Not Properly Raised the Existence of Any Compelling State Interests
The defendants have totally failed to meet their burden of showing that compelling
Under Rule 56(e), Fed.R.Civ.P., it is the obligation of a party opposing a motion for summary judgment to go beyond the pleadings and the briefs to show the existence of a genuine issue of material fact. "[A]n adverse party may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of his pleading, but his response, by affidavits or as otherwise provided in this rule, must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Affidavits containing only conclusory allegations of ultimate facts or legal conclusions do not set forth the specific facts required by the rule. See Askew v. Bloemker, 548 F.2d 673, 679 (7th Cir. 1976); Ashwell Co. v. Transamerica Insurance Co., 407 F.2d 762, 766 (7th Cir. 1969).
The only evidence in this case cited by the defendants as proof of the alleged state interests is the affidavit of John H. Stroger, Jr., who, as of May 11, 1978, the date of the affidavit, had been a member of the Board of County Commissioners for seven years and Democratic Ward Committeeman of the Eighth Ward for ten years. The operative portion of the affidavit is as follows:
These allegations are completely conclusory. With the possible exception of the last one, they are totally devoid of any specific facts that would support the contentions involved. The court finds that they are insufficient to raise a genuine issue of material fact pursuant to Rule 56(e). They are especially inadequate in light of the heightened burden on the government in this case. See Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. at 259, 97 S.Ct. 1782, 1812, 52 L.Ed.2d 261 (Powell, J., concurring in the judgment) ("`the [governmental] interest advanced must be paramount, one of vital importance, and the burden is on the government to show the existence of such
C. Even If They Are Properly Raised, the Interests Advanced by the Defendants Are Not Sufficient to Justify the Challenged Patronage Practices
Even if the interests raised by the defendants in the Stroger affidavit, along with certain other interests discussed in their briefs, may be considered by the court, those interests are insufficient to withstand the strict constitutional scrutiny that must be applied. The court will consider the interests raised by the defendants and demonstrate how each interest is insufficient.
Goals a, b, e, g, and h of the Stroger affidavit all involve the problem of recruiting particular groups or persons into government service. There is no reason, however, that such recruitment could not be conducted within a civil service system. Extra weight in employment or termination decisions could be given to the factors involved in a, b, e, g, and h. Even without civil service protection, these goals could be attained in a non-merit system that did not give preferences to those with political sponsorship. The words of Mr. Justice Stevens, sitting as Circuit Judge in Illinois State Employees Union v. Lewis, 473 F.2d 561 (7th Cir. 1972) cert. denied, 410 U.S. 928, 943, 93 S.Ct. 1364, 35 L.Ed.2d 590 (1973), illustrate this point.
473 F.2d at 567-68. Since there are less drastic means available to meet these proposed goals, they are not sufficient to justify the patronage practices. See Illinois State Board of Elections v. Socialist Workers Party, 440 U.S. 173, 99 S.Ct. 983, 991, 59 L.Ed.2d 230 (1979); Kusper v. Pontikes, 414 U.S. 51, 59, 94 S.Ct. 303, 38 L.Ed.2d 260 (1973); Police Department of Chicago v. Mosley, 408 U.S. 92, 101, 92 S.Ct. 2286, 33 L.Ed.2d 212 (1972); NAACP v. Button, 371 U.S. 415, 438, 83 S.Ct. 328, 9 L.Ed.2d 405 (1963).
Goals d and f are similar to those discussed above. They are aimed at recruiting certain persons, but they are also aimed at using non-merit appointments to correct certain perceived flaws with the civil service system. Once again, though, there is no reason that these goals could not be served by a non-merit system that did not take political work or affiliation into account. Thus, less drastic means are available to meet these goals.
Goal i can also be met through less drastic means. If the desire is to have government employees living in every geographical area, as in goal a, recruitment can be based in part on geographic considerations
The last of the goals discussed in the Stroger affidavit is c, enabling an officeholder in filling vacancies to recruit persons sympathetic with his philosophy of the management of government and public service. This goal is closely related to the goals discussed by the defendants in their briefs. In the Memorandum of Non-Consenting Defendants in Opposition to the Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment at 24, and in the brief in support of their counter-motion for summary judgment at 30-32, the non-consenting defendants raise the governmental interests that were considered and rejected by the Supreme Court in the Elrod case. These interests, as discussed in the plurality opinion, include the absence of any right to government employment, the need to ensure effective government and the efficiency of public employees, the increased accountability to the public of patronage employees, the need for political loyalty of employees in order to assure that representative government is not undercut by obstructionist tactics, and the preservation of the democratic process. 427 U.S. at 360-72, 96 S.Ct. 2673.
The court holds that the Elrod plurality opinion, insofar as it rejected these asserted interests as a defense for patronage firings, is in accord with the law of this circuit, and is directly and equally applicable to patronage hiring and promotional practices. Then-Judge Stevens' opinion for the Seventh Circuit in Illinois State Employees Union v. Lewis,
In his opinion, Justice Stevens rejected the goals raised by the defendants. Justice Stevens directly rejected the first goal, the absence of a right to public employment. 473 F.2d at 573-74. Then, under a slightly different framework, he rejected the others.
Absent some proof that political loyalty was particularly important for specific classes of workers, Justice Stevens held, general defenses based on a need for political loyalty were insufficient to withstand constitutional scrutiny
473 F.2d at 575-76.
Although the factors to be weighed in a strict scrutiny analysis may differ slightly in this case from those present in Elrod and Lewis, the court holds that the result must be the same. The defendants' interests asserted in all cases are effectively the same, and the question of the presence of any less drastic means to achieve the government's interests must be determined identically. The only possible difference concerning the application of the test in this case as compared to its application in Elrod and Lewis is the importance of the plaintiffs' interests infringed by the patronage practices.
This court will not attempt to determine whether the rights of candidates and voters at issue here are either more or less important than the right of government employees to retain their jobs without regard to their political affiliations. Both are clearly important constitutional interests, and the result of the strict scrutiny test must be the same. The challenged patronage practices are unconstitutional.
Ever since the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued its opinion in this case nine years ago, the parties have attempted, for the most part, to work out their differences. The plaintiffs entered into a consent decree with most of the defendants in this case. They negotiated stipulated factual admissions with the defendants currently before the court. The plaintiffs, the consenting Democratic defendants, and the non-consenting Democratic defendants then filed cross-motions for summary judgment. This was done because both sides recognized an interest in avoiding a trial in this case.
A trial in this case would be lengthy and difficult. It would probably involve taking the testimony of most of the defendants in this case, who hold important official positions. It would be disruptive of the ongoing conduct of the business of many government institutions in this area. Also, a trial would be very expensive, and involve the consumption of a great amount of public funds, as well as the resources of the individual parties.
The court holds that the plaintiffs have a right to an electoral process free from deliberate governmental discrimination against their views. The factual record before the court conclusively demonstrates, beyond any existence of a genuine issue of material fact, that the defendants deliberately use the challenged patronage practices to help elect regular Democrats and help defeat their opponents. This purposeful, deliberate discrimination gives the defendants an actual, significant advantage in elections.
This is not to say, of course, that patronage workers are the dominant force in every election. The plaintiffs do not claim that they are. The parties agree that many factors, including campaign money, television exposure, racial or ethnic background, etc., may influence the outcome of the election. The point is that patronage workers give an important advantage to regular Democrats. The regular Democratic defendants are using the government to further their own political interests by giving preferences for many government jobs only to those who have worked and/or will promise to work for regular Democratic candidates.
The court concludes that the patronage practices challenged by the plaintiffs infringe their rights as candidates and voters under the first and fourteenth amendments to the Constitution of the United States and 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985. The challenged practices are not necessary to the furthering of any compelling government interest. Accordingly, the court holds that the challenged practices violate the Constitution of the United States.
The court hereby sets a status hearing for Friday, October 12, 1979, at 10:00 a. m. All parties are invited to attend. At that time, the court will entertain suggestions as to the manner in which it should proceed in order to determine the proper remedy in this case.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Plaintiffs Michael L. Shakman and Paul M. Lurie having filed their complaint herein, and said plaintiffs (on behalf of themselves and the classes they represent under the First Amended Complaint herein as determined by previous Orders of Court) and the defendants named in paragraph C hereof having consented to the entry of this Judgment as to such parties without trial and without adjudication of any allegation in the complaint or any issue of fact with respect to the alleged commission by said defendants of any unconstitutional, unlawful or wrongful act, and without this Judgment constituting evidence of or an admission by any defendant with respect to any issue of fact herein or the commission of any unconstitutional, unlawful or wrongful act;
Now, therefore, upon the consent the parties as aforesaid, it is hereby Ordered, Adjudged and Decreed as follows:
A. This Court has jurisdiction of the parties to this Judgment and of the subject matter of this action under Sections 1331 and 1343(3) of Title 28 of the United States Code.
B. As used herein, (1) the term "governmental employment" means any employment (whether full-time or part-time, permanent or temporary, and regardless of whether the employment is paid for by federal funds) by or for the City of Chicago or any employment within the Northern District of Illinois by or for any other governmental entity other than an entity of the federal government; (2) the terms "governmental employee" and "employee" mean a person employed in governmental employment.
C. The provisions of this Judgment apply to each and all of the following: (1) defendant The Democratic Organization of Cook County, a corporation; (2) defendant Democratic County Central Committee of Cook County and all members thereof; (3) defendant City of Chicago, a municipal corporation; (4) defendant Richard J. Daley, individually and as President of the Democratic Organization of Cook County, Chairman of the Democratic County Central Committee Of Cook County, Mayor of the City of Chicago and Democratic Party Ward Committeeman for the Eleventh Ward of the City of Chicago; (5) defendant
D. It is declared that compulsory or coerced political financial contributions by any governmental employee, contractor or supplier, to any individual or organization and all compulsory or coerced political activity by any governmental employee are prohibited, and, once hired, a governmental employee is free from all compulsory political requirements in connection with his employment. However, governmental employees may engage on a voluntary basis, on their own time, in any lawful political activity (including the making of political financial contributions).
E. Each and all of the defendants and others named or referred to in Paragraph C above are permanently enjoined from directly or indirectly, in whole or in part:
(1) conditioning, basing or knowingly prejudicing or affecting any term or aspect of governmental employment, with respect to one who is at the time already a governmental employee, upon or because of any political reason or factor.
(2) knowingly causing or permitting any employee to do any partisan political work during the regular working hours of his or her governmental employment, or during time paid for by public funds; provided that nothing contained in this subparagraph (2) shall prohibit governmental employees from voluntarily using vacation time, personal leave time or from taking nonpaid leaves of absence to do political work, but permission to do so must be granted nondiscriminatorily.
(3) knowingly, inducing, aiding, abetting, participating in, cooperating with or encouraging the commission of any act which is proscribed by this paragraph E, or threatening to commit any such act.
F. Each defendant named or referred to in paragraph C above shall give notice of this Judgment, in the manner directed by this Court, to the employees under said defendant's jurisdiction.
G. This Judgment represents the agreed-to disposition of the claims asserted in this case by plaintiffs Michael L. Shakman and Paul M. Lurie, on behalf of themselves and the classes referred to above, against the defendants named in paragraph C above. Plaintiffs' claims for money damages, compensatory and exemplary, against the defendants named in paragraph C above are hereby dismissed.
H. Jurisdiction is retained for the following purposes:
(1) To enable the parties to this Judgment to continue to litigate the following questions before this Court:
(2) To enable the parties to this Judgment to apply to this Court at any time for such further orders and directions as may be necessary or appropriate for the construction or carrying out of this Judgment, for the enforcement of compliance with the provisions contained herein, and for the punishment of the violation of any of such provisions. Application to enforce such provisions or to impose punishment for any such violation may be presented to this Court by any registered voter. Prior written notice of all such applications and other matters in this action shall be given to the named parties hereto. Except where emergency relief is sought, 7 days written notice shall be given.
I. The Court expressly finds and determines, pursuant to Rule 54(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, that there is no just reason for delay and directs that this Judgment be entered forthwith.
- No Cases Found