Lawsuit Filed

1969

Michael Shakman, a Chicago-area attorney and politician, filed suit against the Democratic Organization of Cook County (DOCC). The suit claimed that DOCC was in violation of the First Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause. It accused DOCC of running a patronage system that required City employees to campaign in support of the organization and therefore created an unconstitutional and un-level play field for non DOCC candidates.
After being thrown out of court in 1969 this ruling is reversed and the majority of defendants entered into consent decrees.

Defendants included:

  • The Democratic County Central Committee of Cook County and its members, including its Chairman, George W. Dunne
  • The City of Chicago
  • George W. Dunne, individually and as President of the Board of Commissioners of Cook County
  • Morgan M. Finley, individually and as Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County
  • Thomas M. Tully, Assessor of Cook County
  • Stanley J. Kusper, as Clerk of Cook County
  • Edward J. Rosewell, as Treasurer of Cook County
  • The Forest Preserve District of Cook County

Plaintiffs included:

  • Michael L. Shakman
  • Paul M. Laurie