Navarro v. Neal

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Election Law
Case Number: 
No. 12-3572
Decision Date: 
May 17, 2013
Federal District: 
N.D. Ill., E. Div.
Dist. Ct. did not err in dismissing plaintiffs-candidates’ action seeking declaratory and injunctive relief by alleging that Illinois statute (10 ILCS 5/7-61 (2010)), which required candidates who had been appointed by political party leaders to run in general election for either Illinois State House or State Senate offices, to subsequently submit either 500 or 1,000 valid signatures from qualified primary electors within certain time frame to gain access to November 2010 ballot, was unconstitutional under 1st and 14th Amendments. While Dist. Ct. erred in finding that doctrine of laches precluded plaintiffs’ claim seeking declaratory relief where any delay caused by plaintiffs in waiting 10 weeks to file instant lawsuit in September of 2010 would not have any impact on plaintiffs’ proposed prospective remedy, dismissal was still appropriate since statute’s requirement to obtain minimum number of signatures to gain access to ballot was reasonable, non-discriminatory restriction as means to prevent large numbers of frivolous candidates from appearing on ballot and confusing voters.