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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
This case was about Illinois election law (candidate nomination and signature gathering procedures) during the COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 election.

The Libertarian Party of Illinois, the Green Party of Illinois, and several independent candidates filed suit in the U.S. District Court for ... read more >
This case was about Illinois election law (candidate nomination and signature gathering procedures) during the COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 election.

The Libertarian Party of Illinois, the Green Party of Illinois, and several independent candidates filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on April 2, 2020. Defendants were various members of the Illinois State Board of Elections. Plaintiffs challenged signature-gathering requirements for ballot qualification during the COVID-19 lockdowns. They argued that Illinois had allegedly failed to establish non-physical procedures for gathering signatures, and that, as a result, non-major party candidates--finding it impossible to gather signatures in the midst of COVID-19--were effectively barred from the ballot in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Plaintiffs sought to enjoin the in-person signature requirement for non-major party candidates. They also sought declaratory relief and attorney's fees. Plaintiff was represented by private counsel and the Center for Competitive Democracy, an organization that sought to “secure free, open and competitive elections.” The case was assigned to Judge Charles R. Norgle.

Plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction on April 3, 2020. Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer, acting as emergency judge, granted the injunction, in part, on April 23, 2020. The injunction allowed the collection of electronic signatures. It also extended the filing deadline for “new political party and independent candidates” from June 22, 2020, to August 7, 2020. Finally, candidates from the Libertarian Party, Green Party, and three independent candidate plaintiffs who qualified for the 2016 or 2018 Illinois ballot were determined to also qualify for the 2020 Illinois ballot. 455 F.Supp.3d 738.

Defendants filed a motion for reconsideration on May 8, 2020. They argued that it would be extremely difficult for state election officials to comply with the preliminary injunction’s new deadline because officials would not have time to hear ballot objections or complete other administrative processes. On May 15, 2020, Judge Pallmeyer modified the filing deadline to July 20, 2020 in an attempt to balance the interests of ballot access and election administration.

Defendants appealed the preliminary injunction to the Seventh Circuit on June 6, 2020. They argued that the U.S. Constitution grants states “broad power” to conduct elections, as determined by the U.S. Supreme Court in Clingman v. Beaver, and that the District Court had exceeded its authority when it dictated how Illinois conducted its election. On June 9, 2020, defendants sought a stay of the preliminary injunction pending appeal. The Seventh Circuit, in an opinion "by the court," denied the stay on June 21, 2020, reasoning that defendants had failed to demonstrate a likelihood of irreparable harm. 820 Fed. Appx. 446. And on August 20, 2020, in another opinion "by the court," it affirmed the preliminary injunction, reasoning that any change to the filing deadline at that time would be “certain to severely limit or prevent third-party or independent candidates from accessing the November ballot." 824 Fed. Appx. 415.

A Republican candidate for the Illinois State Senate moved to intervene on June 23, 2020. He claimed the preliminary injunction “disparately relaxed standards” in favor of independent and new party candidates to the detriment of established party candidates such as himself. The order therefore impaired his First Amendment and Equal Protection rights and necessitated his intervention. He also filed a similar emergency motion to intervene on July 14, 2020. The District Court denied both of the Republican candidate’s motions to intervene on September 10, 2020. It reasoned he was never prevented from filing his own action on his own unique situation which differed substantially from the present case.

On March 2, 2021 the parties filed a stipulation of dismissal with prejudice, requiring each party to bear their own attorney's fees and costs. Ultimately, after denying without prejudice an intervenor plaintiff's motion to deny stipulation to dismiss or to retain jurisdiction, the Court dismissed the action on July 8, 2021.

Hope Brinn - 04/24/2020
Averyn Lee - 09/16/2020
Eric Gripp - 08/11/2021


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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
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
Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)
Defendant(s) Illinois State Board of Elections
Plaintiff Description Several non-major party candidates (Libertarian Party, Green Party, independent) in Illinois.
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2020 - 2021
Filed 04/02/2020
Case Closing Year 2021
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
N.D. Ill.
07/08/2021
1:20-cv-2112
VR-IL-0133-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
N.D. Ill.
04/02/2020
Complaint [ECF# 1 (& 1-1 to 1-3)]
VR-IL-0133-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
04/03/2020
Motion for Preliminary Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining Order and Attached Memorandum of Law in Support [ECF# 2]
VR-IL-0133-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
04/13/2020
Motion to Intervene [ECF# 6]
VR-IL-0133-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
04/13/2020
Emergency Amended Motion to Intervene [ECF# 7]
VR-IL-0133-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
04/13/2020
Emergency Motion for Preliminary Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining Order and Memorandum of Law in Support [ECF# 10]
VR-IL-0133-0005.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
04/15/2020
Plaintiffs' Response in Opposition to Intervention [ECF# 12]
VR-IL-0133-0006.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
04/16/2020
Defendants' Response to Plaintiffs' Emergency Motion for Preliminary Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 15]
VR-IL-0133-0007.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
04/16/2020
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
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
04/16/2020
Amended Complaint [ECF# 17]
VR-IL-0133-0009.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
04/16/2020
Intervenor's Reply to Plaintiffs' Response in Opposition to Intervention [ECF# 18, 18-1, 18-2]
VR-IL-0133-0010.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
04/23/2020
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 26] (455 F.Supp.3d 738)
VR-IL-0133-0011.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
04/23/2020
Preliminary Injunction Order [ECF# 27]
VR-IL-0133-0012.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
05/08/2020
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
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
05/15/2020
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
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
05/15/2020
Plaintiffs' Response to Defendants' Motion for Reconsideration [ECF# 34]
VR-IL-0133-0015.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
U.S. Court of Appeals
06/21/2020
Order [Ct. of App. ECF# 47] (820 Fed.Appx. 446)
VR-IL-0133-0017.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
06/23/2020
Alexander (AJ) Ruggieri’s Motion to Intervene [ECF# 44 & 44-1]
VR-IL-0133-0016.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
06/26/2020
Plaintiffs' Response in Opposition to Putative-Intervenor Ruggeri's Motion to Intervene [ECF# 49]
VR-IL-0133-0018.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
U.S. Court of Appeals
07/02/2020
Intervenor Kopitke's Response in Opposition to Alexander (AJ) Ruggieri's Motion to Intervene
VR-IL-0133-0023.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
07/02/2020
Governor Pritzker's Objection to Intervention by Proposed Plaintiff Ruggieri [ECF# 50, 50-1]
VR-IL-0133-0019.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
07/02/2020
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
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
07/02/2020
Alexander (AJ) Ruggieri's Consolidated Reply in Support of Motion to Intervene [ECF# 52, 52-1]
VR-IL-0133-0021.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
07/02/2020
Verified Complaint [ECF# 53]
VR-IL-0133-0022.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
08/05/2020
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
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
U.S. Court of Appeals
08/20/2020
Order (824 Fed.Appx. 415)
VR-IL-0133-0026.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: Westlaw
N.D. Ill.
08/28/2020
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
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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