CITY OF CHICAGO v. INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
96-910
Petitioner 
City of Chicago
Respondent 
International College of Surgeons
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the respondents)
(Chicago, IL, argued the cause for the petitioners)
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Facts of the Case 

In 1989, following the Chicago Landmarks Commission's preliminary determination that two of the International College of Surgeons and the United States Section of the International College of Surgeons' (ICS) buildings qualified for protection under the city's Landmarks Ordinance, the city enacted a Designation Ordinance creating a landmark district that included the buildings. After ICS applied for and was denied a permit to demolish all but the facades of the buildings, it sought judicial review of the Commission's decisions, alleging the ordinances and the manner in which the Commission conducted its proceedings violated the Federal and State Constitutions. Chicago removed the case to federal district court on the basis of federal question jurisdiction. Ultimately, the Court of Appeals reversed the District Court's decision in favor of the city, ruling that a federal district court lacks jurisdiction of a case containing state law claims for on-the-record review of local administrative action.

Question 

May a lawsuit filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County seeking judicial review of decisions of the Chicago Landmarks Commission be removed to federal district court, where the case contains both federal constitutional and state administrative challenges to the Commission's decisions?

Conclusion 
Decision: 7 votes for City of Chicago, 2 vote(s) against
Legal provision: 28 U.S.C. 1367

Yes. In a 7-2 opinion delivered by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the Court held that a case containing claims that local administrative action violates federal law, but also containing state law claims for on-the-record review of the administrative findings, can be removed to federal district court. The Court reasoned that the landowners' actions fell within the District Court's original jurisdiction over federal questions and that the court could exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state claims. "Because neither the jurisdictional statutes nor our prior decisions suggest that federal jurisdiction is lacking in these circumstances, we now reverse," wrote Justice O'Connor. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote a dissent, in which Justice John Paul Stevens joined.

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CITY OF CHICAGO v. INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 10 November 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1997/1997_96_910>.
CITY OF CHICAGO v. INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1997/1997_96_910 (last visited November 10, 2014).
"CITY OF CHICAGO v. INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed November 10, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1997/1997_96_910.