Chavis v. Whitcomb, No. IP 69-C-23

CourtUnited States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of Indiana)
Writing for the CourtKERNER, Circuit , STECKLER, , and NOLAND
Citation305 F. Supp. 1359
PartiesPatrick CHAVIS et al., Plaintiffs, v. Edgar D. WHITCOMB, Governor of the State of Indiana, Defendant, and John C. Ruckelshaus et al., Intervening Defendants. CENTRAL CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE et al., Plaintiffs, v. Edgar D. WHITCOMB, Governor of the State of Indiana, Defendant. Carl DORTCH et al., Plaintiffs-Respondents, v. Richard G. LUGAR et al., Defendants-Respondents, and Jerome Forestal et al., Defendants-Petitioners.
Decision Date18 June 1969
Docket NumberNo. IP 69-C-23,115 and 140.

305 F. Supp. 1359

Patrick CHAVIS et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
Edgar D. WHITCOMB, Governor of the State of Indiana, Defendant,
and
John C. Ruckelshaus et al., Intervening Defendants.

CENTRAL CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
Edgar D. WHITCOMB, Governor of the State of Indiana, Defendant.

Carl DORTCH et al., Plaintiffs-Respondents,
v.
Richard G. LUGAR et al., Defendants-Respondents,
and
Jerome Forestal et al., Defendants-Petitioners.

Nos. IP 69-C-23, 115 and 140.

United States District Court S. D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division.

June 18, 1969.


305 F. Supp. 1360

James W. Beatty, Bamberger & Feibleman, James Manahan, Indianapolis, Ind., for plaintiffs.

Richard C. Johnson, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, Ind., for defendant.

William K. Byrum, Fulmer, Burris & Byrum, Indianapolis, Ind., for intervening defendants.

Before KERNER, Circuit Judge, STECKLER, Chief District Judge, and NOLAND, District Judge.

OPINION AND ORDER

KERNER, Circuit Judge.

These cases come before the Court on its own motion as to the first one and on motion in the other two to consider and decide whether this three-judge district court has jurisdiction over them and is properly convened under 28 U.S.C. § 2281.

All three cases raise, inter alia, the common question of whether or not certain existing or future statutory apportionments of the electors for various elected governmental bodies and officials do or would improperly "operate to minimize or cancel out the voting strength of racial or political elements of the voting population" in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution. Fortson v. Dorsey, 379 U.S. 433, 439, 85 S.Ct. 498, 13 L.Ed. 2d 401 (1965), and Burns v. Richardson, 384 U.S. 73, 88, 86 S.Ct. 1286, 16 L.Ed.2d 376 (1966). Moreover, all three cases raise this question particularly with regard to the Negro population of the City of Indianapolis and of Marion County, Indiana. However, a careful examination of the pleadings and of the statutes which are sought to be declared unconstitutional convinces the court that there are important differences in these cases which require that two of them be remanded back to the one-judge district court which first considered them.

The Chavis case challenges two statutes which create two multi-member districts consisting of the whole of Marion County for the election of representatives and senators to their respective houses in the Indiana General Assembly. The complaint basically alleges unconstitutionality on two grounds, the first of which is, primarily, the racial discrimination issue already referred to as well as other forms of minority group voting power dilution. The second allegation is that voters in the Marion County coterminous districts have greater voting power than voters in other districts because they have an opportunity to cast more "critical votes"1 and thereby influence the election of more representatives and senators than any other multior single-member district in the state. This allegation, if true, would be of state-wide effect as the Marion County districts are the largest in the state both in terms of voting population and the number of representatives and senators elected from those districts.

In Central Christian Leadership Conference (CCLC), the challenge was directed to statutes governing the apportionment of the Indianapolis Common

305 F. Supp. 1361
Council. With the passage of the "Consolidated First Class Cities and Counties Act," Indiana Acts of 1969, ch. 173 (Senate Act 543), (which the parties refer to as the "UNI-GOV Act") the challenge was broadened to attack the expanded Council and other positions which are, or would in the future be, elected by voters in Indianapolis and the rest of Marion County. None of the elected officials involved would hold state office. All of the officials involved either hold or will hold county, city or "consolidated city" offices which are purely local in nature

The Dortch case raises the identical question raised in CCLC and also raises other questions concerning the constitutionality of the UNI-GOV Act. These additional questions raise important constitutional issues including the alleged denial of equal protection in the redrawing of special taxing district boundaries in the "consolidated city" and the denial of due process for firemen and policemen in disciplinary proceedings before the fire and police boards of the "consolidated city."

Notwithstanding the importance of the questions in CCLC and Dortch and their impact on the law of Indiana, the actual operative effect of the UNI-GOV Act is purely local. In defining "County" in § 102(b) of the Act, it is stated that it only covers counties in Indiana in which there is only one city of the first class and no cities of the second class. "Consolidated City" is defined in § 102(f) as being such "County" and the city of the first class located therein. It is undisputed that Indianapolis is presently the only city of the first class in Indiana. Nor is it disputed that the only city of the second class which is, at present, reasonably close to becoming a city of the first class is Gary, but that it and Lake County could not be covered by the UNI-GOV Act as Hammond, a second class city, is also within Lake County. Moreover, the plaintiffs in CCLC and the Defendants-Petitioners in Dortch have alleged that one of the factors motivating the passage of the Act was the alleged desire of some persons to "prevent another Gary." The court finds, on the basis of all the foregoing, that the UNI-GOV Act was intended to and does (presently and in the reasonable future) only apply to Indianapolis and Marion County.

The remedies sought in these three cases necessarily involve 28 U.S.C. § 2281 even if injunctions were not sought by name. While it is true that § 2281 covers state statutes and state board administrative orders, the cases have excepted from its coverage statutes and orders whose...

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7 practice notes
  • Bradley v. Milliken, No. 72-1809-72-1814.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • 19 November 1973
    ...24-18 (2d Ed.). and see also Galbreath v. Metropolitan Trust Co. of California, 134 F.2d 569, 570 (10th Cir. 1943); Chavis v. Whitcomb, 305 F.Supp. 1359, 1363 (S.D.Ind. 1969). The situation in this case is pointed up by the language found at 3B Moore's Federal Practice ? 24.16 4, 2d "I......
  • Whitcomb v. Chavis, No. 92
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 7 June 1971
    ...its findings and conclusions on July 28, 1969, holding for plaintiffs. Chavis v. Whitcomb, 305 F.Supp. 1364 (SD Ind.1969). See also 305 F.Supp. 1359 (1969) (pre-trial orders) and 307 F.Supp. 1362 (1969) (statewide reapportionment plan and implementing order). In sum, it concluded that Mario......
  • Chavis v. Whitcomb, No. IP 69-C-23.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of Indiana)
    • 28 July 1969
    ...plan being approved and/or promulgated therein. It is so ordered. --------Notes: 10 See this Court's Opinion and Order of June 18, 1969, 305 F.Supp. 1359 (S.D. 10 See this Court's Opinion and Order of June 18, 1969, 305 F.Supp. 1359 (S.D. Ind.1969). 10 See this Court's Opinion and Order of ......
  • Dobson v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore City, Civ. No. 71-772.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Maryland
    • 23 August 1971
    ...the attack here has been made against a City ordinance, not against a state statute. See 28 U.S.C. § 2281, and Chavis v. Whitcomb, 305 F. Supp. 1359 4 This was the plan held to be constitutional by Judge Thomsen in Ellis v. Mayor & City Council of Baltimore City, supra. 5 Dr. Bard had c......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • Bradley v. Milliken, No. 72-1809-72-1814.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • 19 November 1973
    ...24-18 (2d Ed.). and see also Galbreath v. Metropolitan Trust Co. of California, 134 F.2d 569, 570 (10th Cir. 1943); Chavis v. Whitcomb, 305 F.Supp. 1359, 1363 (S.D.Ind. 1969). The situation in this case is pointed up by the language found at 3B Moore's Federal Practice ? 24.16 4, 2d "I......
  • Whitcomb v. Chavis, No. 92
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 7 June 1971
    ...its findings and conclusions on July 28, 1969, holding for plaintiffs. Chavis v. Whitcomb, 305 F.Supp. 1364 (SD Ind.1969). See also 305 F.Supp. 1359 (1969) (pre-trial orders) and 307 F.Supp. 1362 (1969) (statewide reapportionment plan and implementing order). In sum, it concluded that Mario......
  • Chavis v. Whitcomb, No. IP 69-C-23.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of Indiana)
    • 28 July 1969
    ...plan being approved and/or promulgated therein. It is so ordered. --------Notes: 10 See this Court's Opinion and Order of June 18, 1969, 305 F.Supp. 1359 (S.D. 10 See this Court's Opinion and Order of June 18, 1969, 305 F.Supp. 1359 (S.D. Ind.1969). 10 See this Court's Opinion and Order of ......
  • Dobson v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore City, Civ. No. 71-772.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Maryland
    • 23 August 1971
    ...the attack here has been made against a City ordinance, not against a state statute. See 28 U.S.C. § 2281, and Chavis v. Whitcomb, 305 F. Supp. 1359 4 This was the plan held to be constitutional by Judge Thomsen in Ellis v. Mayor & City Council of Baltimore City, supra. 5 Dr. Bard had c......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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