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DAGGETT v. KIMMELMAN

March 3, 1982

George T. DAGGETT, Plaintiff,
v.
Irwin I. KIMMELMAN, etc., et al., Defendants. Edwin B. FORSYTHE, et al., Plaintiffs, v. Thomas H. KEAN, etc., et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: FISHER

 We have permitted the incumbent Democratic members of Congress and other concerned persons to intervene as defendants. We have reserved decision on the motions to intervene of still others. Because of the decision here, their status will remain unchanged.

 This three-judge court was convened pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2284(a). The relief sought includes a declaration that P.L. 1982, c. 1 is unconstitutional and an injunction against the state officers to prevent them from implementing the Act by proceeding with the primary election insofar as it relates to candidates for the House of Representatives.

 At a hearing on February 19, 1982, the court directed the parties to take depositions, summarize the testimony, file affidavits and submit exhibits for final hearing on February 26, 1982. Between these dates, all parties moved for summary judgment pursuant to rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

 At final hearing, the parties agreed that if the motions for summary judgment were denied, they would have no further proofs to advance other than what then comprised the record. Because we prefer to decide the matter on the application for injunctive relief on the entire record, rather than by summary judgment, those motions are denied. The application for a preliminary injunction is consolidated with plaintiff's demand for a permanent injunction into a final hearing pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(a). Counterclaims advanced on behalf of some of the parties are dismissed, either because this disposition of the case renders them moot, or because they do not constitute a cause of action.

 The 1980 decennial census recorded a population of 7,364,826 for the State of New Jersey. Heretofore, New Jersey had 15 congressional districts constituted by this court in David v. Cahill, 342 F. Supp. 463 (D.N.J.1972). Pursuant to the requirements of 2 U.S.C. § 2a(b), the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives has notified the Governor of the State of New Jersey that, on the basis of the 1980 decennial census, the number of representatives to which the state is entitled has been decreased from fifteen to fourteen. This notification has rendered the present apportionment of congressional districts unconstitutional.

 After this notification, it became the duty of the New Jersey legislature to reapportion the fourteen congressional districts in conformity with the mandate of art. I, § 2 of the United States Constitution and the standards of Kirkpatrick v. Preisler, 394 U.S. 526, 89 S. Ct. 1225, 22 L. Ed. 2d 519 (1969), and the cases that followed. On the day he left office, former Governor Brendan T. Byrne signed a bill sponsored jointly by Senator Matthew Feldman and Assemblyman Byron M. Baer which then became P.L.1982, c. 1. See Appendix A for Senate Bill 711, which became P.L.1982, c. 1, and a map of the districts as drawn by the Act. This litigation followed.

 The facts are clear and, in a general sense, not really disputed. They emerge from the exhibits, the affidavits, and especially from the testimony of Assemblyman Christopher Jackman, Speaker of the 199th Assembly and Speaker pro tem of the 200th; Senator Matthew Feldman, President pro tem of the Senate; Assemblyman Alan J. Karcher, Speaker of the 200th Assembly; and Assemblyman Richard Zimmer.

 The story really begins on August 7, 1981, when Ernest C. Reock, Jr., sent a "model" redistricting proposal to the leadership of the legislature and the Governor. On August 11, 1981, Reock sent the plan to all the members of the legislature. Mr. Reock was, and is, a research professor at Rutgers University since 1950 and Director of the Bureau of Government Research at Rutgers University since 1960. The Bureau of Government Research has three principal functions: to conduct research on problems of state and local government in New Jersey, to develop and to conduct training programs for local government officials in New Jersey, and to provide technical assistance to state agencies and officers, as well as to those members of the public interested in the problems of government.

 This plan or proposal, as amended, set forth fourteen congressional districts with an overall absolute range of deviation of 1,556 people and the overall relative range of 0.296%. By contrast, P.L.1982, c. 1, the present law, has an overall absolute range of deviation of 3,674 people and an overall relative range of deviation of 0.6984%.

 The Reock proposal prompted a remarkable reply from then Speaker of the Assembly Jackman. The letter is set forth in its entirety as Appendix B. This letter informed Professor Reock that redistricting was the business of the legislature and that the partisan majority had an interest in redistricting and would not subjugate its concerns. He added that Professor Reock's plan had no chance of adoption.

 There ensued thereafter a series of meetings between Democratic legislators, congressmen, and other interested persons to discuss the form and content of a redistricting bill. There were also contacts made with some Republican office-holders. Obviously, staff people were at work to develop a plan.

 When the 200th legislature convened, a number of redistricting bills were introduced until at last P.L.1982, c. 1 was passed and signed by the Governor.

 The deposition testimony indicates that the Democratic leadership was concerned with certain criteria. Assembly Speaker Karcher was interested in minimum deviations. In fact, he stated he was not interested in any bill with a deviation in excess of one percent. His further aims were to protect minority interests, the preservation of cores of pre-existing districts and the preservation of municipal boundary lines. He further ...


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