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Election Law

7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: David M. Gill v. Ian K. Linnabary

Case No.: 22-1653

Officials: Brennan, Scudder, and St. Eve, Circuit Judges.

Focus: Election Law

In 2016, David Gill ran as an independent candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Illinois’s 13th Congressional District. He came up 2,000 signatures short of qualifying for the general election ballot. Gill then sued members of the Illinois State Board of Elections, claiming that portions of the Illinois Election Code violated the U.S. Constitution.

The district court granted summary judgment to the defendants, and Gill appealed. The Seventh Circuit reviewed that decision in Gill v. Scholz, 962 F.3d 360 (7th Cir. 2020), and remanded with instructions to evaluate the ballot access provisions for independent candidates under the fact-intensive balancing test set forth in Anderson v. Celebrezze, 460 U.S. 780 (1983), and Burdick v. Takushi, 504 U.S. 428 (1992). The district court did so and again granted the defendants summary judgment, which Gill appealed.

Changes to the 13th Congressional District because of redistricting have moved this case outside of the capable of repetition yet evading review exception to the mootness doctrine. This case is thus moot and not justiciable. The Seventh Circuit need not review, therefore, the district court’s application of the Anderson-Burdick test. For these reasons, the Secenth Circuit vacates and remands with instruction to dismiss the case as moot.

Vacated and Remanded.

Decided 03/22/23

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