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RIPON SOCY., INC. v. NATIONAL REPUBLICAN PARTY

May 4, 1972

The RIPON SOCIETY, INC., et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
NATIONAL REPUBLICAN PARTY and Republican National Committee, Defendants


William B. Jones, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: JONES

Plaintiffs in this action challenge the formula for apportionment of delegates to the Republican National Convention as unconstitutional and in violation of Article II, Section 1; the Fifth Amendment; and the Fourteenth Amendment, Sections 1 and 2, of the Constitution. The jurisdiction of this court is invoked under 28 U.S.C. § 1343(3) and (4); 28 U.S.C. § 2201; 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985 (2) and (3) and 1988; and under the constitutional provisions mentioned above.

 Plaintiffs filed their complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief on November 8, 1971. At that time, they sought a declaratory judgment that the apportionment of delegates to the 1972 Republican National Convention in accordance with the 1972 formula adopted at the 1968 national convention would result in invidious discrimination, without rational basis, in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution. Plaintiffs further requested the Court to enjoin the defendants from apportioning delegates to the 1972 convention on the basis of the 1972 formula adopted in 1968.

 On December 3, 1971, the parties entered into a stipulation in which it was agreed that, since the call for delegates to the 1972 convention would issue in December 1971 or early January 1972 and since a final adjudication of the constitutional standards applicable to the apportionment formula could not be expected before that time, plaintiffs would amend their complaint to focus on the formula likely to be adopted at the 1972 Republican National Convention for the apportionment of delegates to the 1976 convention. Without intimating how it would rule on the question of ripeness for declaratory and injunctive relief, the Court approved the stipulation.

 Plaintiffs thereafter amended their complaint and motion for preliminary injunction and filed a motion for summary judgment. Defendants filed an answer to the complaint, an opposition to the motion for preliminary injunction, and moved to dismiss the Ripon Society, Inc., as a plaintiff in this action, and to dismiss the action against the defendant National Republican Party, to quash service and to strike from the pleadings all references to said defendant. At the same time, the Republican State Committee of Delaware and the Republican State Central Committee of Wyoming petitioned for leave to intervene as defendants in this action or, in the alternative, to participate as amicus curiae.

 The Court heard extensive oral argument of counsel on all of the foregoing motions on March 9, 1972. At that time, the Court denied defendants' motion to dismiss the Ripon Society, Inc., as a party plaintiff in this action and further denied defendants' motion to dismiss the defendant National Republican Party, to quash service and to strike from the pleadings all references to said defendant. *fn1" The Petitions of the Republican State Committee of Delaware and the Republican State Central Committee of Wyoming to intervene were denied, but leave was granted to each to appear as amicus curiae in connection with any motions pending in this action. The Court took under advisement plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment, allowing two weeks for the filing of any additional affidavits and amicus briefs.

 Upon consideration of the pleadings, memoranda and affidavits submitted in this case, and having heard argument of counsel on the motions, the Court finds that there are no issues of material fact genuinely in dispute and that summary judgment is appropriate at this juncture in light of the following findings of fact and conclusions of law.

 I.

 Plaintiffs in this action are the Ripon Society, Inc., a Republican research and policy organization whose members are young business, professional and academic men and women; plaintiffs Howard Gillette, Jr. and Robert D. Behn are respectively, President and National Executive Director of the Ripon Society, Inc. In addition to the above, there are other named individual plaintiffs, citizens of the United States, Republicans and registered and qualified voters of the District of Columbia, California, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

 Defendant National Republican Party is an unincorporated association *fn2" which acts by and through the Republican National Convention and the defendant Republican National Committee. The latter, also an unincorporated association, has general management of the National Republican Party, as provided in Rule 19 adopted by the 1968 Republican National Convention. *fn3" Both the National Republican Party and the Republican National Committee have headquarters in the District of Columbia.

 The formula for the apportionment of delegates to the Republican National Convention in a presidential election year is adopted by the delegates to the preceding national convention. Thus, the formula for the 1972 convention was adopted by the delegates at the 1968 convention. Although the formulas adopted by successive Republican National Conventions since 1900 have varied substantially in certain convention years, the formula adopted by the 1968 convention is substantially the same as the formula adopted by every Republican National Convention since 1948. *fn4"

 Rule 30 of the Rules adopted by the Republican National Convention of 1968 provides the formula for apportionment of delegates to the 1972 convention. *fn5" Under that Formula:

 1. The 1972 Convention will comprise a total of 1,346 delegates from the States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam.

 2. 200 delegates, or 16.3% of the total delegation, will be apportioned, four delegates each, to the fifty states; nine to the District of Columbia; five to Puerto Rico; three each to the Virgin Islands and Guam. None of these delegates are apportioned on the basis of population. *fn6"

 3. 856 delegates, or 64.5% of the total delegation, will be apportioned to Congressional Districts, one for each District casting 4,000 votes and one additional delegate for each Congressional district casting 12,500 votes for (a) the Republican Presidential nominee in 1968, or (b) the Republican nominee for Congress in 1970; twelve delegates will be apportioned, two each, to the six states which have a Representative at Large in Congress. *fn7"

 Although the language of Rule 30 apportions the 856 District delegates on the basis of a minimum Republican voter turnout, they clearly represent the total population within the districts as well. Congressional districts are apportioned on a population basis, adjusted per each decennial census, and each district encompasses a population far in excess of 4,000 or even 12,500. *fn8" Thus, each segment of population represented by a Congressional district would be entitled to one or possibly two delegates to the national convention as a result of a minimum turnout of Republican votes in that district. Heavily populated states with more Congressional districts would, of course, be more heavily represented at the national convention.

 4. Thus a total of 1,068 delegates, or approximately 80% of the delegates under the 1972 formula, would be apportioned on the basis of electoral college votes, two hundred of the delegates representing twice the membership of the United States Senate, and 868 delegates (856 District delegates and 12 delegates from states which have a Representative at Large in Congress) representing approximately twice the membership of the House of Representatives.

 5. The remaining 258 delegates, or 19.1% of the total delegation, will be apportioned among the states on the basis of a bonus of six delegates to each of forty-three states which cast its electoral college vote for the Republican nominee for President in 1968 or, in that or a subsequent election, elected a Republican Senator or Governor or Republican majority to the House of Representatives. *fn9" The bonus delegates are not apportioned on a basis of population or of minimum Republican voter turnout. Bonus delegates are awarded solely on the basis of Republican victories in certain specified election contests.

 Plaintiffs attack primarily the allocation of 258 delegates under the bonus system described above. They contend that the apportionment of six bonus delegates to each of the states qualifying for them under the 1972 formula discriminates against the more populous states. They have submitted in affidavits several tables by which they attempt to demonstrate the extent to which the more populous states are ...


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