Miller v. Kusper, 3 Computer L. Serv. Rep. 352 (N.D. Ill.), aff’d, 445 F.2d 1059 (7th Cir. 1971)(full-text).
Factual Background Edit
Plaintiffs, running for the office of alderman as independent candidates, sought a mandatory injunction against the City of Chicago to require it to produce certain computerized records containing substantial voting information. The cost of reproduction to the city would be $50.00, while the cost would be about $6,000 if the candidates were to gather the information themselves. Plaintiffs contended that the withholding of the records was a denial of their first amendment rights of speech, association, and political activity, as well as raising serious equal protection problems.
Trial Court Proceedings Edit
The court first noted that the plaintiffs' claim of denial of equal protection was without merit, since the defendant did not make the records available to any of the political parties. Thus, there was no unequal treatment or the establishment of any suspect classification.
Second, the court held that the plaintiffs could not legitimately raise a first amendment claim, since defendant's choice not to aid or facilitate plaintiffs' first amendment right did not rise to the level of an abridgment of those rights. The court denied the injunction.