Illinois Requirement On Signatures Upheld

1948

In MacDougall v. Green, the U.S. Supreme Court upholds an Illinois statute that requires political parties to obtain at least 25,000 signatures to put its candidate on the ballot for U.S. Senate. The statute also requires at least 200 signatures from each of at least 50 counties in the state.

The Progressive Party claims the statute violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment and the people’s right to directly elect their senators as written in the 17th Amendment. Its claim is based on the fact that the law treated counties as if they all had the same population, but in reality most of the voters lived in a small number of counties in the Chicago area. The Court rules, however, that the law does not violate either amendment.