Thompson v. Thomson, No. 5651 Civil.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of Wyoming
Writing for the CourtPICKETT, Senior Circuit , and KERR and TEMPLAR
Citation344 F. Supp. 1378
PartiesJames THOMPSON et al., Plaintiffs, v. Thyra THOMSON, Secretary of the State of Wyoming, et al., Defendants.
Docket NumberNo. 5651 Civil.
Decision Date23 June 1972

344 F. Supp. 1378

James THOMPSON et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
Thyra THOMSON, Secretary of the State of Wyoming, et al., Defendants.

No. 5651 Civil.

United States District Court, D. Wyoming.

June 23, 1972.


344 F. Supp. 1379

Harold E. Meier, Lander, Wyo., for plaintiffs.

Clarence A. Brimmer, Atty. Gen. of the State of Wyoming, Cheyenne, Wyo., for defendants.

Before PICKETT, Senior Circuit Judge, and KERR and TEMPLAR, District Judges.

KERR, District Judge.

In this action plaintiffs challenge the constitutionality of the 1971 Reapportionment Act. They seek both declaratory and injunctive relief restraining defendants from enforcing said Act. Jurisdiction is grounded upon the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1343(3), (4), 2201-2202, and 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988. A three judge court was convened pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2281.

The facts have been stipulated, obviating the necessity of oral testimony.

On February 20, 1971, the Wyoming State Legislature enacted the Legislative Apportionment Act in question. Plaintiffs, as citizens and qualified voters of the State of Wyoming, allege the Act constitutes an "invidious discrimination", which violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

The origin of the 1971 Act stems from two earlier decisions of this Court. In 1964 the Wyoming Reapportionment Act of 1963 was found to be unconstitutional with regard to the State Senate. Schaefer v. Thomson, 240 F.Supp. 247 (D.C.Wyo.1964). The opinion held that the Wyoming Reapportionment Act of 1963 insofar as it provided for representation in the State Senate constituted an invidious discrimination and violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; that the Reapportionment Act of 1963 insofar as it provided for representation in the House of Representatives was not an invidious discrimination and did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. This Court left to the legislature the task of reapportioning the Senate but retained jurisdiction in the event the legislature was unable to arrive at a valid law within the requirements of the United States Constitution.

The legislature was unable to properly redistrict the state and in 1965 this Court reapportioned the Senate by judicial decree. Schaefer v. Thomson, 251 F.Supp. 450 (D.C.Wyo.1966), affirmed Harrison, et al. v. Schaefer, et al., 383 U.S. 269, 86 S.Ct. 929, 15 L.Ed.2d 750 (1966). This Court again reaffirmed its 1964 decision respecting the House of Representatives and stated "We reiterate our previous opinion that the Wyoming Reapportionment Act of 1963 (Chapter 22, Session Laws of Wyoming, 1963) is not an invidious discrimination insofar as it provides for representation in the State House of Representatives and in that respect it does not violate the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution".

It seems best at this point to dispose of the issue concerning the alleged unconstitutionality

344 F. Supp. 1380
of the reapportionment of the House of Representatives. The Act made only five minimal adjustments to the 1963 Reapportionment of the House, which had previously been found constitutional by this Court and affirmed by the United States Supreme Court...

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3 practice notes
  • Brown v. Thomson, No. 82-65
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 22 Junio 1983
    ...three districts gaining a representative and two districts losing a representative because of population shifts. Thompson v. Thomson, 344 F.Supp. 1378, 1380 (Wyo.1972). The present case is a challenge to Wyoming's 1981 statute reapportioning its House of Representatives in accordance with t......
  • Brown v. Thomson, No. C81-292.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of Wyoming
    • 21 Abril 1982
    ...legislature. Schaefer v. Thomson, 240 F.Supp. 247 (D.Wyo.1964); Schaefer v. Thomson, 251 F.Supp. 450 (D.Wyo.1965); Thompson v. Thomson, 344 F.Supp. 1378 At issue before the Court is the relatively simple question of whether or not the allocation of a representative to Niobrara County consti......
  • Gorin v. Karpan, No. 91-CV-0054-K.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of Wyoming
    • 15 Octubre 1991
    ...and did not substantially alter either the previously approved 1963 House plan, or the court's 1965 Senate plan. Thompson v. Thomson, 344 F.Supp. 1378, 1380-81 (D.Wyo.1972). This decision was not Voters again challenged the reapportionment of the Wyoming House of Representatives after the l......
3 cases
  • Brown v. Thomson, No. 82-65
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 22 Junio 1983
    ...three districts gaining a representative and two districts losing a representative because of population shifts. Thompson v. Thomson, 344 F.Supp. 1378, 1380 (Wyo.1972). The present case is a challenge to Wyoming's 1981 statute reapportioning its House of Representatives in accordance with t......
  • Brown v. Thomson, No. C81-292.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of Wyoming
    • 21 Abril 1982
    ...legislature. Schaefer v. Thomson, 240 F.Supp. 247 (D.Wyo.1964); Schaefer v. Thomson, 251 F.Supp. 450 (D.Wyo.1965); Thompson v. Thomson, 344 F.Supp. 1378 At issue before the Court is the relatively simple question of whether or not the allocation of a representative to Niobrara County consti......
  • Gorin v. Karpan, No. 91-CV-0054-K.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of Wyoming
    • 15 Octubre 1991
    ...and did not substantially alter either the previously approved 1963 House plan, or the court's 1965 Senate plan. Thompson v. Thomson, 344 F.Supp. 1378, 1380-81 (D.Wyo.1972). This decision was not Voters again challenged the reapportionment of the Wyoming House of Representatives after the l......

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