Town of Lockport v. Citizens for Community Action at the Local Level, Inc.

PETITIONER: Town of Lockport
RESPONDENT: Citizens for Community Action at the Local Level, Inc.
LOCATION: Village of Arlington Heights

DOCKET NO.: 75-1157
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT:

CITATION: 430 US 259 (1977)
ARGUED: Nov 30, 1976 / Dec 01, 1976
DECIDED: Mar 07, 1977

ADVOCATES:
John J. Phelan - for appellees Citizens for Community Action, etc., et al.
Miles A. Lance - for appellees Graf and Comerford
Victor T. Fuzak - for appellants

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Town of Lockport v. Citizens for Community Action at the Local Level, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 30, 1976 in Town of Lockport v. Citizens for Community Action at the Local Level, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - March 07, 1977 in Town of Lockport v. Citizens for Community Action at the Local Level, Inc.

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinion in 75-1157, the Town of Lockport against the Citizens For Community Action will be announced by Mr. Justice Stewart.

Potter Stewart:

This case is here on appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of New York.

New York law provides that a new county charter will go into effect only if it is approved in a referendum election by separate majorities of the voter's who live in the cities within the county and of those who live outside the cities.

A three-judge Federal District Court held that these requirements violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

And a direct appeal brought the case here.

For the reason set out in some detail in the written opinion of the Court filed today, we have concluded that the provisions of New York law here in question no more than recognized the substantially different electoral interests of city dwellers and non-city dwellers in a new county charter, in view of the realities of the overlapping and competing local governmental units in the political structure of the State.

Granting to these provisions of New York law, the presumption of constitutionality to which every duly enacted state and federal law is entitled, we hold that they do not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Accordingly, the judgment is reversed.

The Chief Justice does not join the opinion of the Court, but concurs only in the judgment.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you, Mr. Justice Stewart.