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ALMA S. FOX v. C. DELORES TUCKER (06/12/74)

decided: June 12, 1974.

ALMA S. FOX, FOR HERSELF AND FOR OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
C. DELORES TUCKER, SECRETARY OF THE COMMONWEALTH; DEMOCRATIC STATE COMMITTEE OF PENNSYLVANIA; AND DENNIS THIEMANN, DEFENDANTS



Original jurisdiction in case of Alma S. Fox, for herself and others similarly situated, v. C. Delores Tucker, Secretary of the Commonwealth; Democratic State Committee of Pennsylvania; and Dennis Thiemann.

COUNSEL

Paul D. Boas, with him Samuel A. Vitaro, Daniel M. Berger and Martha E. Richards, for plaintiffs.

Norman J. Watkins, Deputy Attorney General, with him Lawrence Silver, Deputy Attorney General, and Israel Packel, Attorney General, for defendant, Tucker.

Robert J. Demer, with him Thomas R. Balaban and Shaffer, Calkins & Balaban, for defendants, Committee and Thiemann.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 13 Pa. Commw. Page 498]

The plaintiffs in this suit in equity are individuals, allegedly members of traditionally underrepresented

[ 13 Pa. Commw. Page 499]

    groups, and organizations committed to the cause of such groups. The defendants are Dennis Thiemann, Chairman of the Democratic State Committee of Pennsylvania, C. Delores Tucker, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the person charged with the duty of overseeing the conduct of elections in Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee. The defendants have filed a number of preliminary objections to the plaintiff's amended complaint. We need consider only one of those objections -- that the amended complaint does not state a cause upon which the plaintiffs may have relief.

The plaintiffs aver that the Democratic National Committee by a document entitled "Preliminary Call for the 1974 Conference on Democratic Party Organization and Policy" scheduled a National Party Conference of the Democratic Party to be held December 6, 7 and 8, 1974; that the Preliminary Call provided for the election of 96 delegates from Pennsylvania and required that each state party should develop a plan of affirmative action to ensure the participation in such election of all Democratic voters on the basis of sex, age, race and social and economic status; that the Democratic State Committee of Pennsylvania prepared an affirmative action plan but did not carry it out in the following respects: by failing to provide adequate special releases and interviews for news media, by failing to direct publicity to minority media and publications of women's and other underrepresented groups, by failing to issue special releases to predominantly minority and student newspapers, by failing to monitor coverage in the media, by failing to use paid advertising, by failing to adequately publicize the delegate selection process in the state, and by failing to take special efforts to encourage participation and representation by traditionally underrepresented groups in the delegate selection process; that as the result of the State Committee's failures, the

[ 13 Pa. Commw. Page 500]

Pennsylvania delegates will not be elected in accordance with the affirmative action plan and that traditionally underrepresented groups, including women, blacks, ethnic Americans, youth, senior citizens and poor people, did not learn about the National Party Conference in time to obtain and file petitions to become candidates for delegate at the May 21, 1974 primary election.

By their complaint filed April 19, 1974 and amended complaint filed April 26, 1974, the plaintiffs sought an order directing the defendant C. Delores Tucker to remove the contests for delegates to the Conference from the May 21, 1974 Democratic primary ballot. After hearing conducted May 2, 1974, we denied the plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction on the ground that the election on May 21, 1974 of others than the individual plaintiffs would not immediately and irreparably harm the plaintiffs or those they represent because ample time remained and reasonable opportunities existed in and by which the cause could be pursued and, if successful, relief obtained. One such opportunity ...


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