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Case Name Shakman v. Democratic Organization of Cook County FA-IL-0008
Docket / Court 1:69-cv-02145 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Speech and Religious Freedom
Case Summary
In October 1969, plaintiffs, an independent candidate and his supporters, filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against the Democratic Organization of Cook County, the City of Chicago, and various government officers at the state and local ... read more >
In October 1969, plaintiffs, an independent candidate and his supporters, filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against the Democratic Organization of Cook County, the City of Chicago, and various government officers at the state and local levels under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court to enjoin the extensive patronage system of Chicago politics. They argued that this system violated their rights under the First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and of certain civil rights statutes.

Specifically, plaintiffs alleged that their constitutional rights as a candidate, and as taxpayers and voters, were violated by the defendants' practice of coercing employees as a condition of keeping their jobs to contribute money to various Democratic organizations and candidates. Defendants had also allegedly coerced employees into doing political and campaign work both during their regular working hours and on their own time for candidates endorsed by the organization and its affiliates. Finally, defendants had allegedly coerced employees into voting for specific party candidates. Plaintiffs asserted that these coercive practices directly resulted in the defeat of independent candidates and perpetuated the dominance of the Democratic Party in Cook County.

On November 6, 1969, District Court Judge Abraham Marovitz granted defendants' motion to dismiss. 310 F.Supp. 1398 (1969). The district court found that plaintiffs did not have standing to assert the alleged violations of the rights of employees and that the complaint did not allege facts sufficient to demonstrate injury. Plaintiffs appealed and filed an amended complaint joining additional Democratic defendants and numerous Republican defendants also engaged in the patronage system. On October 23, 1970, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Thomas Fairchild reversed the district court's decision and remanded the case for further proceedings. 435 F.2d 267 (1970). Defendants appealed to the Supreme Court, which denied certiorari.

Over the course of the next couple of years, the parties engaged in a series of negotiations resulting in a consent order entered into by the majority of the defendants. The order was approved by District Court Judge Marovitz on May 5, 1972. 356 F.Supp. 1241 (1972). The order prohibited compulsory or coerced political financial contributions and permanently enjoined politically motivated firings, demotions, transfers, or other punishment of government employees. This consent order came to be known "the Shakman decree."

Litigation continued for several years involving those defendants that declined to enter into the aforementioned consent agreement. On September 24, 1979, District Court Judge Nicholas Bua issued a ruling concluding that the patronage system infringed upon the plaintiffs' rights protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments. 481 F.Supp. 1315 (1979). Defendants appealed. On August 5, 1987, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Kenneth Ripple reversed the district court, finding that plaintiffs did not have standing. 829 F.2d 1387 (1987). The circuit court found that a number of very speculative inferences would be required to connect plaintiffs' alleged injury with activities attributed to the remaining defendants. However, the circuit court explicitly noted that nothing in the holding could be construed as affecting the continued validity of the Shakman decree. Plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Court, which denied certiorari.

Over the next two decades, litigation continued with periodic revivals for enforcement of the consent agreements and for seeking damages or lawyers' fees. Also, consent agreements, like that entered into in 1972, were periodically made with various defendants. On August 28, 2006, plaintiffs filed an application to hold Cook County and other government personnel in civil contempt for violation of the consent agreements. A series of negotiations between the parties began that month and a settlement was reached. As part of the settlement, on November 29, 2006, District Court Judge Wayne R. Andersen, appointed a compliance administrator in an effort to ensure future compliance with the decree.

Litigation regarding compliance with the Shakman decrees continues in a wide range of circumstances as of November 18, 2014.

Richard Jolly - 09/21/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Freedom of speech/association
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Disparate Treatment
Pattern or Practice
Voting
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) City of Chicago
Democratic Organization of Cook County
Republican County and Central Committee of Cook County
Plaintiff Description An independent political candidate in the election for delegates to the 1970 Illinois Constitutional Convention and his supporters.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Order Duration 1972 - n/a
Filing Year 1969
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Docket(s)
1:69-cv-02145 (N.D. Ill.)
FA-IL-0008-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/30/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Exempt Titles List
FA-IL-0008-0018.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date:
Memorandum Opinion Dismissing Case [1969] (310 F.Supp. 1398) (N.D. Ill.)
FA-IL-0008-0019.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/06/1969
Source: Google Scholar
Opinion [7th Circuit Remanding Case] (435 F.2d 267)
FA-IL-0008-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 10/23/1970
Source: Google Scholar
Judgment District Court [1972] (356 F.Supp. 1241) (N.D. Ill.)
FA-IL-0008-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | External Link | Detail
Date: 05/05/1972
District Court Opinion [1979] (481 F.Supp. 1315) (N.D. Ill.)
FA-IL-0008-0020.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/24/1979
Source: Google Scholar
Judgment as to the City of Chicago and Its Mayor (N.D. Ill.)
FA-IL-0008-0003.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 06/21/1983
Opinion [7th Circuit Reversing and Remanding] (829 F.2d 1387)
FA-IL-0008-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/05/1987
Source: Google Scholar
Opinion [7th Circuit Reversing and Remanding] (396 F.3d 843)
FA-IL-0008-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 01/31/2005
Source: Google Scholar
Application to Hold the City of Chicago and Its Mayor in Civil Contempt for Violations of the Court Orders [ECF# 310]
FA-IL-0008-0006.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 07/26/2005
Order Appointing Court Monitor and Counsel [ECF# 316] (N.D. Ill.)
FA-IL-0008-0007.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 08/02/2005
First Report of Monitor [ECF# 327]
FA-IL-0008-0008.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 09/06/2005
Second Amended Complaint [ECF# 376]
FA-IL-0008-0022.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/11/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Granting Defendant City's Motion] [ECF# 386] (N.D. Ill.)
FA-IL-0008-0009.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 02/07/2006
Plaintiffs' Application to Hold Cook County and Certain Named Individuals in Civil Contempt for Violation of Court Orders [ECF# 491]
FA-IL-0008-0021.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/28/2006
Agreed Settlement Order and Accord Summary of Proceedings
FA-IL-0008-0010.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 03/21/2007
Exhibit A [Preliminary Approval Order]
FA-IL-0008-0011.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 03/21/2007
Accord Claim Procedures
FA-IL-0008-0012.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 03/21/2007
Memorandum, Opinion and Order [Denying Motion to Intervene] [ECF# 629] (2007 WL 1468721) (N.D. Ill.)
FA-IL-0008-0023.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 05/18/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Policy and Guidelines for Use of Acting Up
FA-IL-0008-0013.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 08/07/2007
Monitor's Report and Recommendations Regarding City of Chicago's Proposed "New Plan" [ECF# 721]
FA-IL-0008-0014.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 09/27/2007
December 18, 2007 Report of the Monitor [ECF# 779]
FA-IL-0008-0015.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 12/18/2007
Order [Affirming Monitor's Authority] [ECF# 2203] (N.D. Ill.)
FA-IL-0008-0016.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 04/29/2011
City of Chicago Hiring Plan
FA-IL-0008-0017.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 06/23/2011
show all people docs
Judges Andersen, Wayne R. (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0008-0007 | FA-IL-0008-0009 | FA-IL-0008-0023
Bua, Nicholas John (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0008-0003 | FA-IL-0008-0020
Coffey, John Louis (Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0008-0005
Cummings, Walter Joseph (Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0008-0001
Eschbach, Jesse Ernest (N.D. Ind., Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0008-0004
Fairchild, Thomas Edward (Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0008-0001
Flaum, Joel Martin (N.D. Ill., Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
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Kanne, Michael Stephen (N.D. Ind., Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
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Marovitz, Abraham Lincoln (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
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Ripple, Kenneth Francis (Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
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Schenkier, Sidney I. (N.D. Ind.) show/hide docs
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Swygert, Luther Merritt (N.D. Ind., Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
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Plaintiff's Lawyers Dawson, Kay L. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Feldman, Edward W (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Fross, Roger R. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Harris, Katherine Heid (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Hays, Brian Ignatius (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Huyck, William (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Maggio, Timothy (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Perlstadt, Roger J (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Petrovic, Ana D. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Plotkin, Gabriel Bankier (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Shakman, Michael L. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Vars, Frederick E. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Waskowski, Adam T (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Defendant's Lawyers Allen, Deborah Joyce (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Avendano, Naomi Ann (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Bensinger, Virginia Brette (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Blanchard, Patrick Malone (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Brennan, Daniel H. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Brennwald, James Quinn (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Connolly, Sean P. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Convery, James J (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Driscoll, Patrick T. Jr. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Fahner, Tyrone C. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Fallon, Patricia Maria (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Fencik, Joan Mary (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Ferguson, Tiffany Mary (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Finnegan, Sheila Marie (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Friebus, David Michael (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Kalin, Lilianna Maria (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Kaplan, Rachel (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Kertez, Jay Michael (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Leary, Shandra Lynn (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Mackoff, Myron F. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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McCarthy, Brian Dennis (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Meador, Lisa Marie (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Nohos, Therese King (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Nowinski, Thomas Edward (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Patton, Stephen Ray (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Pechous, Donald J. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Pokorny, William R. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Prayor, Sharon Elizabeth (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Pugh, Stephen H. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Pullos, James Charles (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Ray, Kent Stephen (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Rocks, Patrick J. Jr. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Scott, Sally J. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Seery, David (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Shannon, Robert (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Stewart, Stephanie L. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Stratton, Brent Douglas (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Swabb, Timothy L. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Other Lawyers Amlot, Tiffany L. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Brennan, Noelle Christine (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Brown, Sarah Megan (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Burke, Helen (Michigan) show/hide docs
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Cherian, Limo T. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Choi, Soo (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Cleveland, Matthew James (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Cox, Susan (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Darling, Leslie Michelle (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Davis, Jonneida Alexis (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Davis, Beth A (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Deady, Patrick Edward (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Fitzpatrick, Peter (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Gagliardo, Joseph (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Georges, Mara Stacy (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Grapsas, Nicholas George (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Hogan, Edward M. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Holley, Charles J. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Johnson, C. Richard (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Kaszak, Nancy L. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Kemmer, Randolph T. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Kralovec, Michael Joseph (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Kurtz, Dana L. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Ladner, Tracey Renee (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Li, Ted Shuya Petrovic (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Luchtenburg, Russell J. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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McClain, Sara (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Monte, Ines M (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Murray, James (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Naber, Jennifer (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Plotkin, Robert (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Pryor, Matthew David (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Robinson, Keino Richard (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Schwallie, Lucy D. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Sholder, Iris Ellen (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Siner, Jonathan P. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Slayden, Daniel Patrick (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Theobald, Edward R. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Thompson, Hubert O. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Torshen, James H. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Vogel, Mark J. (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Ward, Torrick (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Welsh, Kelly Raymond (Illinois) show/hide docs
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