Magraw v. Donovan, Civ. No. 2981.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court of Minnesota
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation163 F. Supp. 184
PartiesDaniel B. MAGRAW, John O. Erickson, Ruth H. O'Dell, Arthur R. Swan, Plaintiffs, v. Joseph L. DONOVAN, Secretary of State of the State of Minnesota; Walter H. Borgen, Auditor of St. Louis County, Minnesota; Robert F. Fitzsimmons, Auditor of Hennepin County, Minnesota; Eugene A. Monick, Auditor of Ramsey County, Minnesota, Frances L. Underleak, Auditor of Olmstead County, Minnesota, individually as auditors of their respective counties and representatives of all County Auditors of the State of Minnesota, Defendants, and County of Houston, County of Grant, County of Otter Tail; and Dolores Hauge, Auditor of County of Houston, G. J. Lynne, Auditor of County of Grant, and S. B. Johnson, Auditor of County of Otter Tail, Intervening Defendants.
Decision Date10 July 1958
Docket NumberCiv. No. 2981.

163 F. Supp. 184

Daniel B. MAGRAW, John O. Erickson, Ruth H. O'Dell, Arthur R. Swan, Plaintiffs,
v.
Joseph L. DONOVAN, Secretary of State of the State of Minnesota; Walter H. Borgen, Auditor of St. Louis County, Minnesota; Robert F. Fitzsimmons, Auditor of Hennepin County, Minnesota; Eugene A. Monick, Auditor of Ramsey County, Minnesota, Frances L. Underleak, Auditor of Olmstead County, Minnesota, individually as auditors of their respective counties and representatives of all County Auditors of the State of Minnesota, Defendants,
and
County of Houston, County of Grant, County of Otter Tail; and Dolores Hauge, Auditor of County of Houston, G. J. Lynne, Auditor of County of Grant, and S. B. Johnson, Auditor of County of Otter Tail, Intervening Defendants.

Civ. No. 2981.

United States District Court D. Minnesota, Third Division.

July 10, 1958.


Frank S. Farrell and William C. Meier, St. Paul, Minn., for plaintiffs, Reginald Ames, William A. Bierman, O. H. Godfrey,

163 F. Supp. 185
Jr., William B. Randall, Joseph A. Rheinberger, John G. Robertson, St. Paul, Minn., of counsel

Stanley D. Kane and Neal D. Peterson, Minneapolis, Minn., for Minn. State League of Women Voters, amicus curiae.

Marshman S. Wattson, Minneapolis, Minn., and Patrick J. Foley, Rochester, Minn., for Minn. Branch, American Civil Liberties Union, amicus curiae.

Miles Lord, Atty. Gen., and Harold J. Soderberg, Asst. Atty. Gen., for defendant Joseph L. Donovan, Secretary of State.

Thomas J. Naylor, County Atty., Duluth, Minn., for defendant Walter H. Borgen, Auditor, St. Louis County.

George M. Scott, County Atty., Minneapolis, Minn., for defendant Robert F. Fitzsimmons, Auditor, Hennepin County.

James F. Lynch, County Atty., and Robert G. Flynn, Asst. County Atty., St. Paul, Minn., for defendant Eugene A. Monick, Auditor, Ramsey County.

L. L. Roerkohl, County Atty., Caledonia, Minn., for defendants Houston County and Dolores Hauge, Auditor.

I. L. Swanson, County Atty., Elbow Lake, Minn., for defendants Grant County and G. J. Lynne, Auditor.

Owen V. Thompson, County Atty., Fergus Falls, Minn., for defendants Otter Tail County and S. B. Johnson, Auditor.

Before SANBORN, Circuit Judge, and BELL and DEVITT, District Judges.

PER CURIAM.

The plaintiffs, citizens and voters of the state of Minnesota and residents of several of the more densely populated areas of that state, principally the urban sections, bring this action asking that the 1913 Minnesota Legislative Redistricting Act (Chapter 91, Minn.Laws 1913; Minn.Stat.1953, § 2.02 et seq.; M.S.A. § 2.02 et seq.) be declared invalid and that the Secretary of State and County Auditors be enjoined from operating the election machinery at future elections under that law.

Plaintiffs contend that, by virtue of the substantial increase in population and major shifts of it within the state since 1913, there is now gross inequality in the population of the legislative districts. It is stated that the Minnesota State Legislature refuses to reapportion the state as is required by the Minnesota Constitution, Article 4, Sections 2 and 23, M.S.A. Plaintiffs argue that this unequal representation deprives them of rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and that the Redistricting (reapportionment) Act of 1913 is now unconstitutional. This action is brought under the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C.A. § 1983 et seq. The plaintiffs are seeking a judicial remedy for a legislative wrong.1

163 F. Supp. 186

By order of the District Court, Grant, Houston and Otter Tail Counties and their respective County Auditors were permitted to intervene as additional defendants. These are less populous rural counties. It appears that the strength of their legislative representation has been enhanced by the recent population shifts to urban areas of the state. These intervening defendants moved to dismiss the action on the ground that the Court had no jurisdiction. The Court denied that motion. D.C., 159 F.Supp. 901.

This three-judge court was convened by authority of 28 U.S.C.A. § 2281, and took evidence and heard arguments. Briefs have been filed.

It was made to appear at the hearing, and is virtually a matter of common knowledge, that there is substantial, and in some instances gross, population inequality among the 67 Minnesota Legislative Districts. There have been 8 legislative apportionments in the history of Minnesota, in the years 1857, 1860, 1866, 1871, 1881, 1889, 1897 and 1913. The 1913 reapportionment was made upon the basis of the 1910 census. During the period between 1910 and 1950, the population of Minnesota increased from 2,075,708 to 2,982,483, or 43.7 per cent. Population growth throughout the state during that period has been distributed unevenly. Some counties have gained population. Anoka County, for instance, has gained 184.8 per cent. Other counties have lost population. Generally, urban and suburban counties have shown the largest increase.

As an example of the discrimination as between legislative districts in the state, it was made to appear that the smallest Senate district, the Third, consisting of Wabasha County, had a...

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25 practice notes
  • WMCA, Inc. v. Simon
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • January 11, 1962
    ...deferred action pending legislative adjustment, that court retained jurisdiction of the case. Magraw v. Donovan, D.C.D.Minn., 1958, 163 F. Supp. 184, The Supreme Court "has never held that apportionment cases necessarily raise non-justiciable questions." As Solicitor General Cox points out ......
  • Irish v. Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party of Minnesota, No. 3-68 Civ. 178.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court of Minnesota
    • August 7, 1968
    ...248 (N.D.Ga. 1962); Sims v. Frink, 205 F.Supp. 245 (M.D.Ala.1962); Lein v. Sathre, 205 F. Supp. 536 (D.N.D.1962); Magraw v. Donovan, 163 F.Supp. 184 9 Avery v. Midland County, 390 U.S. 474, 88 S.Ct. 1114, 20 L.Ed.2d 45 (1968) dealing with county commissioners is the latest U.S. Supreme Cour......
  • Baker v. Carr, No. 6
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • March 26, 1962
    ...court's decision in that case bear upon this, for just as in Smith v. Holm, 220 Minn. 486, 19 N.W.2d 914, and Magraw v. Donovan, D.C., 163 F.Supp. 184; D.C., 177 F.Supp. 803, a state court's inability to grant relief does not bar a federal court's assuming jurisdiction to inquire into alleg......
  • Scholle v. Hare, No. 63
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • July 18, 1962
    ...by the Federal District Court in Baker v. Carr found support in prior decisions cited therein. In McGraw et al. v. Donovan et al., D.C., 163 F.Supp. 184 (July 10, 1958), the Federal District Court of Minnesota, Third Division, was asked to hold invalid a statute enacted by the Minnesota leg......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
24 cases
  • WMCA, Inc. v. Simon
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • January 11, 1962
    ...deferred action pending legislative adjustment, that court retained jurisdiction of the case. Magraw v. Donovan, D.C.D.Minn., 1958, 163 F. Supp. 184, The Supreme Court "has never held that apportionment cases necessarily raise non-justiciable questions." As Solicitor General Cox points out ......
  • Irish v. Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party of Minnesota, No. 3-68 Civ. 178.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court of Minnesota
    • August 7, 1968
    ...248 (N.D.Ga. 1962); Sims v. Frink, 205 F.Supp. 245 (M.D.Ala.1962); Lein v. Sathre, 205 F. Supp. 536 (D.N.D.1962); Magraw v. Donovan, 163 F.Supp. 184 9 Avery v. Midland County, 390 U.S. 474, 88 S.Ct. 1114, 20 L.Ed.2d 45 (1968) dealing with county commissioners is the latest U.S. Supreme Cour......
  • Baker v. Carr, No. 6
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • March 26, 1962
    ...court's decision in that case bear upon this, for just as in Smith v. Holm, 220 Minn. 486, 19 N.W.2d 914, and Magraw v. Donovan, D.C., 163 F.Supp. 184; D.C., 177 F.Supp. 803, a state court's inability to grant relief does not bar a federal court's assuming jurisdiction to inquire into alleg......
  • Scholle v. Hare, No. 63
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • July 18, 1962
    ...by the Federal District Court in Baker v. Carr found support in prior decisions cited therein. In McGraw et al. v. Donovan et al., D.C., 163 F.Supp. 184 (July 10, 1958), the Federal District Court of Minnesota, Third Division, was asked to hold invalid a statute enacted by the Minnesota leg......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • The County Unit System of Georgia: Facts and Prospects
    • United States
    • Political Research Quarterly Nbr. 14-4, December 1961
    • December 1, 1961
    ...through the use of its power,has set up a vicious circle. It has established a quadrennial convention, domi- 41 Magraw v. Donovan (163 F. Supp. 184: 1958), in the U.S. Disrtict Court for the District of Minnesota, Third Division. Here, the three-judge court, convened under 28 U.S.C 2281 and......

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