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Case Name Libertarian Party of Illinois v. Pritzker VR-IL-0133
Docket / Court 1:20-cv-02112 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Election/Voting Rights
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Case Summary
NOTE: This case is being tracked in close to real time by the Stanford/MIT Healthy Elections Project. So for more current information, see their tracker. COVID-19 Summary: Third parties and their candidates sought to enjoin ... read more >
NOTE: This case is being tracked in close to real time by the Stanford/MIT Healthy Elections Project. So for more current information, see their tracker. COVID-19 Summary: Third parties and their candidates sought to enjoin enforcement of Illinois' in-person signature requirement for ballot access during the COVID-19 outbreak. Judge Pallmeyer found for the plaintiffs and granted a preliminary injunction. The defendants appealed the injunction and sought a stay pending appeal, which was denied on June 21. On June 23, a Republican candidate sought to intervene and requested a similar TRO and preliminary injunction for existing candidates as well. No outcome yet.


On April 2, 2020, the Libertarian Party of Illinois, the Green Party of Illinois, and several members of these parties running for office in Illinois filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs sued numerous Illinois government officials to temporarily enjoin the in-person signature requirement for independent and third-party candidates seeking to qualify for the November 2020 general election ballot; they also sought declaratory relief and attorney's fees. Specifically, the plaintiffs argued that the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing stay-at-home order made waiver of the in-person signature requirement necessary under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The case was assigned to Judge Charles R. Norgle.

On April 3, 2020, the plaintiffs filed a motion for a preliminary injunction. They also filed an amended complaint on April 16 adding an individual plaintiff.

Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer was assigned to decide the emergency motions for the preliminary injunction. On April 23, 2020, Judge Pallmeyer granted a preliminary injunction to the plaintiffs but also accepted part of the defendants' proposed alternative resolution. Instead of suspending the signature requirement, Judge Pallmeyer permitted ballot access for previously-qualifying new party or independent candidates and loosened the signature requirements for new party and independent candidates. 2020 WL 1951687.

On May 8, the defendants filed a motion for reconsideration of certain provisions of the injunction.

On May 15, the court revised the previous order, shortening the deadline for submission of candidate nomination and petition filings to July 20. The previous April 23 ordered had extended the deadline from June 22 to August 7. However, the minimum petition signature threshold would remain at 10% as previously ordered.

The defendant appealed the preliminary injunction to the Seventh Circuit on June 6 and sought a stay pending appeal on June 9. On June 21, the stay was denied, finding that the defendants did not show that irreparable harm by the injunction, and that staying the injunction would bring clear harm to the plaintiffs.

Alexander Ruggieri, a Republican candidate for the Illinois State Senate, sought to intervene on June 23. On July 2, he requested a TRO and preliminary injunction -- similar to the preliminary injunction granted on April 23 -- such that that same signature threshold would apply to existing candidates, like Ruggieri, as well. While Ruggieri conceded that accommodation for independent and new party candidates was necessary due to COVID-19, such relief allowed those candidates to access the ballot much more easily than established party candidates. Therefore, Ruggieri requested a TRO and preliminary injunction on equal protection grounds, arguing that the current relief resulted in disparate treatment.

The Seventh Circuit denied to dismiss this appeal as moot on July 15. On August 5, an Objector to Ruggieri's Motion to Intervene, Germaine Light, sought to dismiss Ruggieri's complaint for TRO and preliminary injunction as moot. Light argued that Ruggieri has now received relief from the Illinois State Board of Elections, which on
August 3, 2020, voted to place Mr. Ruggieri’s name on the November 3, 2020 ballot.

The case is ongoing.

Hope Brinn - 04/24/2020
Averyn Lee - 09/16/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Freedom of speech/association
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Voting
Medical/Mental Health
COVID-19 Mitigation Granted
COVID-19 Mitigation Requested
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Voting
Candidate qualifications
Election administration
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Governor of Illinois
Illinois State Board of Elections
Plaintiff Description The Libertarian and Green parties in Illinois and several of their candidates.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2020 - 2020
Filed 04/02/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Docket(s)
1:20-cv-2112 (N.D. Ill.)
VR-IL-0133-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/04/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1 (& 1-1 to 1-3)]
VR-IL-0133-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/02/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion for Preliminary Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining Order and Attached Memorandum of Law in Support [ECF# 2]
VR-IL-0133-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/03/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion to Intervene [ECF# 6]
VR-IL-0133-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/13/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Emergency Amended Motion to Intervene [ECF# 7]
VR-IL-0133-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/13/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Emergency Motion for Preliminary Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining Order and Memorandum of Law in Support [ECF# 10]
VR-IL-0133-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/13/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Response in Opposition to Intervention [ECF# 12]
VR-IL-0133-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/15/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Response to Plaintiffs' Emergency Motion for Preliminary Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 15]
VR-IL-0133-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/16/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Appendix to Defendants' Response to Plaintiffs' Emergency Motion for Preliminary Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 16 (& 16-1 to 16-3)]
VR-IL-0133-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/16/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint [ECF# 17]
VR-IL-0133-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/16/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Intervenor's Reply to Plaintiffs' Response in Opposition to Intervention [ECF# 18, 18-1, 18-2]
VR-IL-0133-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/16/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 26] (2020 WL 1951687) (N.D. Ill.)
VR-IL-0133-0011.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/23/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Preliminary Injunction Order [ECF# 27] (N.D. Ill.)
VR-IL-0133-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/23/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
State Board of Elections Defendants' Emergency Motion for Reconsidering in Part of Order Granting Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 31 & 31-1 to 31-3]
VR-IL-0133-0013.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/08/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Intervenor Kopitke's Response into Defendant Board of Elections' Emergency Motion for Reconsideration in Part [ECF# 33 & 33-1 to 33-3]
VR-IL-0133-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/15/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Response to Defendants' Motion for Reconsideration [ECF# 34]
VR-IL-0133-0015.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/15/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Ct. of App. ECF# 47] (2020 WL 3421662)
VR-IL-0133-0017.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 06/21/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Alexander (AJ) Ruggieri’s Motion to Intervene [ECF# 44 & 44-1]
VR-IL-0133-0016.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/23/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Response in Opposition to Putative-Intervenor Ruggeri's Motion to Intervene [ECF# 49]
VR-IL-0133-0018.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/26/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Intervenor Kopitke's Response in Opposition to Alexander (AJ) Ruggieri's Motion to Intervene
VR-IL-0133-0023.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/02/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Governor Pritzker's Objection to Intervention by Proposed Plaintiff Ruggieri [ECF# 50, 50-1]
VR-IL-0133-0019.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/02/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Objector Light's Objection in Opposition to Intervenor Ruggieri's Motion to Intervene [ECF# 51 (incl. 51-1 to 51-6)]
VR-IL-0133-0020.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/02/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Alexander (AJ) Ruggieri's Consolidated Reply in Support of Motion to Intervene [ECF# 52, 52-1]
VR-IL-0133-0021.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/02/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Verified Complaint [ECF# 53]
VR-IL-0133-0022.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/02/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Objector Light's Motion to Dismiss Intervenor Ruggieri's Complaint for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction as Moot [ECF# 68]
VR-IL-0133-0024.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/05/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Prospective Intervenor Alexander Ruggieri's Response to Non-Party Germaine Light's Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 73 & 73-1]
VR-IL-0133-0025.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/28/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Norgle, Charles Ronald Sr. (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
VR-IL-0133-9000
Pallmeyer, Rebecca R. (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
VR-IL-0133-0011 | VR-IL-0133-0012 | VR-IL-0133-0017
Plaintiff's Lawyers Brown, Mark R. (Ohio) show/hide docs
VR-IL-0133-0001 | VR-IL-0133-0002 | VR-IL-0133-0006 | VR-IL-0133-0009 | VR-IL-0133-0015 | VR-IL-0133-0018 | VR-IL-0133-9000
Cahnman, Samuel J. (Illinois) show/hide docs
VR-IL-0133-0003 | VR-IL-0133-0004 | VR-IL-0133-0010 | VR-IL-0133-0014 | VR-IL-0133-0023 | VR-IL-0133-9000
Casson, Luke (Illinois) show/hide docs
VR-IL-0133-0020 | VR-IL-0133-0024 | VR-IL-0133-0025
Fogarty, John G (Illinois) show/hide docs
VR-IL-0133-0016 | VR-IL-0133-0020 | VR-IL-0133-0021 | VR-IL-0133-0022 | VR-IL-0133-0025 | VR-IL-0133-9000
Hall, Oliver B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-IL-0133-0001 | VR-IL-0133-0002 | VR-IL-0133-0006 | VR-IL-0133-0009 | VR-IL-0133-0015 | VR-IL-0133-0018 | VR-IL-0133-9000
Summers, Scott Kingwill (Illinois) show/hide docs
VR-IL-0133-0001 | VR-IL-0133-0002 | VR-IL-0133-0006 | VR-IL-0133-0009 | VR-IL-0133-0015 | VR-IL-0133-0018 | VR-IL-0133-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Caplan, Gary Steven (Illinois) show/hide docs
VR-IL-0133-0013
Dierkes, Michael T. (Illinois) show/hide docs
VR-IL-0133-0007 | VR-IL-0133-0019 | VR-IL-0133-9000
Kasper, Michael James (Illinois) show/hide docs
VR-IL-0133-0007 | VR-IL-0133-0013 | VR-IL-0133-9000
Newman, Sarah Hughes (Illinois) show/hide docs
VR-IL-0133-0007 | VR-IL-0133-0019 | VR-IL-0133-9000
Raoul, Kwame (Illinois) show/hide docs
VR-IL-0133-0007 | VR-IL-0133-0019
Richie, Leigh J. (Illinois) show/hide docs
VR-IL-0133-0013
Van de Burgt, David W (Illinois) show/hide docs
VR-IL-0133-0013
Walsh, Erin (Illinois) show/hide docs
VR-IL-0133-0007 | VR-IL-0133-0019 | VR-IL-0133-9000

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