COVID-Related Election Litigation Tracker

Case Details

This database consolidates and tracks litigation concerning the effect of the pandemic on election law. The purpose of this tool is to provide an interactive list of relevant cases that can be searched by issue, court, status, and jurisdiction.

Case Details


Fight Back Fund v. Illinois State Board of Elections

Closed. Settled and/or Withdrawn (Voluntarily dismissed)

Fight Back Fund v. Illinois State Board of Elections, No. 1:20-cv-02791 (N.D. Ill.)

  Case Summary The Collective Bargaining Freedom Act became law in Illinois in April 2019. That Act provides that the authority to enact laws / rules restricting the use of union security agreements vests exclusively with the Illinois General Assembly. Plaintiffs support Illinois House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment (HJRCA) 37 (or Collective Bargaining Freedom Amendment), which proposes an amendment to the state constitution prohibiting laws that restrict or interfere with workers right to, among other things, to prohibit / restrict the right of private sector employers and employees to enter into and administer union security agreements. In order for constitutional amendments to make the ballot, Illinois state constitution (Art XIV, Section 2) requires satisfaction of one of three procedures, of which a constitutional convention or 3/5 vote of the general assembly at least 6 months prior to the next election, and for the amendment to be published to voters 1 month prior to the election, is one. The Collective Bargaining Freedom Amendment was introduce in January 2020 but then the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the cancellation of a number of legislative sessions, and it became impossible for the amendment to satisfy the 6-month requirement. The Plaintiffs and other citizens of Illinois allege they lost their rights to petition for the advance of the amendment, and this constituted a violation of their rights under the state constitution (unreasonably restricting right to associate for political purposes and access to being on the ball and to have the opportunity to vote on the amendment) and the 1st and 4th amendments to the US constitution (unreasonably restricting associational and voting rights). The judge denied the TRO without prejudice as premature in May 2020, as it was then possible for the General Assembly to adopt the amendment proposal during its then current legislative session. In June 2020, the Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the case without prejudice.
Filed 05/08/2020
State Illinois
Type of Court Federal
Circuit Seventh Circuit
Status Closed. Settled and/or Withdrawn (Voluntarily dismissed)
Last Updated 03/13/2021
Issue Tag(s) Petition Signature Requirement (Deadline/Time to Collect, Threshold Number)
Right to associate
Complaint(s) 05/08/2020: Complaint filed.
Dispositive Ruling(s) 05/19/2020: Order/Ruling, MINUTE entry before the Honorable Rebecca R. Pallmeyer: Motion hearing held by telephone. For the reasons stated on the record, Plaintiffs Fight Back Fund, International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150, AFL-CIO, and James M. Sweeney's motion for preliminary injunction and Temporary Restraining Order 8 is denied without prejudice as premature. Should the General Assembly adopt Plaintiffs' proposal in its current session, Plaintiffs will be free to renew their motion to compel Defendants to ensure that the amendment is on the November ballot. The court expresses no opinion on any defenses that Defendants may raise, should the motion be renewed.
06/30/2020: Order/Ruling, Case Dismissed
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