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Yarger v. The Board of Regents
Illinois Supreme Court
456 N.E.2d 39 (1983)
The Board of Regents of Regency Universities (the board) (defendant) operated Illinois State University (the university) in Normal, Illinois. The board voted to lease a space on the university’s campus for a bookstore. William C. and Orval J. Yarger (plaintiffs) owned and operated a bookstore in Normal. The Yargers filed a lawsuit in state court seeking to enjoin the board from leasing space on campus for the bookstore. The Yargers relied on an act passed by the Illinois state legislature in 1967 that prohibited a state university from operating a retail store, such as a bookstore, that would compete with private merchants in the community. The legislative history of the act as set out by the house journal and the senate journal revealed that the house amended the act before voting on it but that the senate did not make the same amendment. The bill signed into law by the governor did not include the house’s amendment. The board challenged the lawsuit filed by the Yargers, arguing that the act was unconstitutional because it was not enacted pursuant to the constitutional requirement that an identical bill be passed by both houses before being signed into law by the governor. Courts in Illinois historically allowed parties to refer to the journals kept by the house and senate to prove whether the constitutionally required procedures for enacting statutes were or were not followed. This rule was called the journal-entry rule. In 1970 Illinois updated its constitution. Article IV, § 8 required that each bill passed by both houses of the legislature be signed by the speaker of the house and the president of the senate to certify that the constitutionally mandated procedures were followed. The Yargers argued that the updated state constitution changed Illinois from a journal-entry state to an enrolled-bill state, and that journal entries could no longer be used to show that a bill was not properly enacted. The state trial court allowed the board to show evidence from the journals and held that the act was unconstitutional. The Yargers appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Ward, J.)
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