Federal Judge in Chicago Strikes Down Illinois Ballot Access Law in Landmark Decision


In a landmark decision today, U.S. District Judge Andrea R. Wood, struck down as unconstitutional a unique provision in Illinois law that placed tremendous obstacles in the way of candidates for political office from parties other the Democratic or Republican parties who wished to run for elective office.

Since 1931, Illinois law has required that any political party other than the Democratic of Republican parties who wanted to place one of its candidates on the ballot had to field a candidate for every single office on the ballot or it could not participate in the election.  This was known as Illinois’s “full-slate” requirement and Illinois was the only state in the nation that had such a requirement, according to leading ballot access expert Richard Winger, publisher of the highly regarded Ballot Access News.

On February 24, 2016, in federal court in Chicago, the Libertarian Party of Illinois, represented by Attorney David I. Schoen, was handed an historic victory when Judge Wood issued her Memorandum Opinion and Order holding that Illinois’s full slate requirement violated the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of political candidates and voters in Illinois.  Judge Wood  permanently barred the State of Illinois from enforcing this unconstitutional provision.

In the wake of this decision, Attorney Schoen said, “Today Judge Wood handed down a landmark decision that ensures that our electoral process is one that is much more open to smaller political parties, their candidates, and voters who want to support them – a decision that significantly advances our political democracy in the finest American tradition, recognizing the fundamental importance of every American’s First and Fourteenth Amendment rights under our Constitution.”

The case is Libertarian Party of Illinois, et al. v. Illinois State Board of Elections, No. 12-cv-2511 in the United States District Court for the Norther District of Illinois.

For any questions, please feel free to contact David I. Schoen at 334-395-6611 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .   www.schoenlawfirm.com.

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