This case originates from a state “quo warranto” action to remove General Parker’s name from the school board ballot for a prior felony conviction. See People ex rel. Lyons v. Parker, 2012 IL App (3d) 110140-U, (Order filed 5/8/2012), summarized directly below and available here:
A quo warranto action is used to challenge another’s right to public office. In the 2012 case, the State’s Attorney successfully obtained an order barring General Parker from running for the local school board. General Parker argued that the quo warranto action was improper and that State law allowed him to have his name on the ballot. However, the Appellate Court warned General Parker to stop making those arguments as the decision for his name to be removed from the ballot would stand.
General Parker has now filed a complaint in federal court against those who sought removal of his name from the ballot. In it, the District Court addressed:
1. A Fourteenth Amendment “Class–of–One” Equal Protection claim alleging that General Parker was selectively targeted the quo warranto action, a rarely-used enforcement mechanism, because of his reputation as an outspoken leader in the community. The Court held that it is the State’s Attorney’s discretion to file quo warranto actions and dismissed this claim.
2. A Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection claim alleging racial discrimination because he was targeted to be removed from the school board election ballot to preserve a white majority on the school board. He alleges that other white candidates for various local elected offices are or have been ineligible but were not subject to quo warranto actions or other challenges by the State's Attorney. The Court held that this claim should be heard.
3. A general challenge to the constitutionality of the state laws preventing someone with a prior felony conviction from running for school board, citing the First, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments. The Court held that this claim should be heard.
While the Court dismissed number 1, the merits on numbers 2 and 3 are still pending.