Economic Freedom

WILL proudly fights for the right to earn a living free from government interference

Open Case

Operating Engineers v. Daley

 

Unions filed another Act 10 lawsuit in 2019, arguing that the law was unconstitutional because unions have a constitutional right to collectively bargain.  We intervened on behalf of a teacher who objects to being forced to pay union dues to defend the law.

Filed: September 2019

 

Open Case

VWF v. Eau Claire (TID 12)

To create a TIF district, a city must show that it will spur development that otherwise wouldn’t occur – that new development wouldn’t exist “but for” the creation of the TIF district.  Eau Claire claimed that an already-finished building somehow wouldn’t be built without a new TIF district, and we sued to stop that abuse.

Filed: April 2019

Open Case

BCTA v. Brown County

State law permits counties to impose a 0.5% sales tax, but requires that tax to be used only for “directly reducing the property tax levy.”  Brown County imposed a sales tax, but is instead using the proceeds to fund new spending.  We sued to have the tax struck down.

Filed: January 2018

WILL Victory

Black v. City of Lake Geneva

The City of Lake Geneva promulgated an ordinance that allows the city to search the homes of residents who occasionally rent their home for periods of less than 29 days at virtually any time without a warrant or, alternatively, to fine them if they refuse to consent to a warrantless search. These requirements violate the Fourth Amendment rights of Lake Geneva residents, including the Plaintiffs. We filed this suit to vindicate those rights.

Filed: December 2019

WILL Victory

Farmview Event Barn v. Evers

If you rent your space out and your guests bring their own alcohol to drink, should you have to get a liquor license?  We don’t think so, and interpreting the law that way puts wedding barns and similar venues at risk, so we sued to get the question cleared up.

Filed: January 2019

Closed Case

Operating Engineers v. Evers

Unions filed another Act 10 lawsuit in 2019, arguing that the law was unconstitutional because unions have a constitutional right to collectively bargain.  We intervened on behalf of a teacher who objects to being forced to pay union dues to defend the law.

Filed: May 2019

Closed Case

Smith v. Wisconsin

Wisconsin prohibits the sale of butter that has not met the approval of government taste testers, effectively banning imports such as the popular Kerrygold butter from Ireland.  On behalf of consumers and a retailer, we challenged the law, which furthers no health or safety purpose.

Filed: March 2017

Closed Case

International Union of Operating Engineers v. Schimel

Unions filed a lawsuit in federal court arguing that Wisconsin’s “Right to Work” law was an unlawful “taking” of their property right to non-members’ fees.  We filed amicus briefs successfully arguing in support of Right to Work.

Filed: June 2018

Closed Case

Krist Oil v. Wisconsin

The State of Wisconsin thinks consumers need to be protected from low prices, and has passed a law prohibiting retailers from setting prices too low.  It also requires some products to be sold at a substantial markup – a hidden tax on consumers that goes straight into the pockets of business owners.  We sued to get rid of that law.

Filed: August 2016

Closed Case

International Association of Machinists v. Allen

Wisconsin’s Right to Work law allowed employees to opt out of paying union dues on 30-days’ notice.  Unions sued, arguing that violated a federal law saying that union dues can be locked in “up to one year”.  We filed amicus briefs supporting the law.

Filed: February 2016

Closed Case

International Association of Machinists v. Wisconsin

Unions filed a lawsuit in state court arguing that Wisconsin’s “Right to Work” law was an unlawful “taking” of their property right to non-members’ fees.  We filed amicus briefs successfully arguing in support of Right to Work.

Filed: March 2015

Closed Case

Voters With Facts v. City of Eau Claire (TID 8 & 10)

Cities around the state use TIF districts as a way to give taxpayer funds to developers while claiming that the money is “free”.  State law requires cities to follow very strict procedures in order to create TIF districts.  When Eau Claire failed to follow those procedures, we sued to hold them accountable.

Filed: March 2015

WILL Victory

Hoekstra v. City of Bayfield

Seeking to protect the local bed & breakfast owners, Bayfield passed an ordinance requiring anybody who wanted to run a B&B during the summer months to live in the city at least six months each year.  We filed a federal lawsuit because this discriminated against owners who lived (most of the time) in other states.  To settle the lawsuit, Bayfield amended its ordinance.

Filed: March 2015

Closed Case

Highland Memorial v. Wisconsin

Wisconsin prohibits cemetery owners from owning or operating a funeral home and vice versa.  They can’t even have a funeral home operated by somebody else on their cemetery grounds!  We think the government has no legitimate interest in limiting people’s choices this way, and we filed a lawsuit challenging the law, but the Wisconsin Supreme Court disagreed.

Filed: August 2014

Closed Case

Blaska v. MMSD / Sannes v. MMSD

The Madison Metropolitan School District negotiated with its teachers unions in violation of Act 10.  We sued to stop them, but the Dane County Circuit Court concluded that because one of the unions had won a temporary victory (which the Wisconsin Supreme Court overruled, declaring Act 10 constitutional), the collective bargaining agreement was lawful.

Filed: September 2014

WILL Victory

KEA v. WERC

After one judge ruled that the Kenosha Education Association was still subject to Act 10, KEA sought a ruling from another judge that it was not subject to Act 10.  We informed that new judge of the ongoing case and binding ruling, criticizing KEA for its blatant forum shopping.  That judge stayed the new case, eventually dismissing it.

Filed: February 2014

Closed Case

Lacroix v. Kenosha Unified School District

Kenosha was one of a few school districts to negotiate with its employee unions in violation of Act 10.  On behalf of a teacher and Kenosha taxpayer, we sued and were successful in having the collective bargaining agreement voided.

Filed: November 2013

WILL Victory

Marone v. MATC

Milwaukee Area Technical College bargained with its employee unions in violation of Act 10, despite warnings from WILL.  On behalf of an MATC instructor, we sued the school.  The college and professors’ union eventually conceded that their collective bargaining agreements were void.

Filed: May 2013

WILL Victory

Rosno v. WERC

When Judge Colas held the Wisconsin Employment Relation Commission in contempt in the Madison Teachers case for attempting to hold recertification elections, it created confusion around the state.  We sued WERC in another county, seeking a declaration that WERC must hold elections.  WERC stipulated to a judgment directing them to hold such elections, and then the supreme court vacated Colas’s contempt order.

Filed: October 2013

Amicus

Ibrahim v. Milwaukee

For decades, Milwaukee had an arbitrary limit on the number of taxi cab licenses issued by the city.  WILL filed an amicus brief in a lawsuit brought by the Institute for Justice, and a court struck down the cap.

Filed: September 2011

Amicus

Madison Teachers v. Walker

2011 Wisconsin Act 10 reformed collective bargaining for public sector employees.  Unions sued to stop it, and WILL filed amicus briefs on behalf of employees who wanted the freedom to not pay union dues.  Eventually, the Wisconsin Supreme Court declared Act 10 constitutional.

Filed: August 2011

Amicus

Laborers Local 236 v. Walker

Unions brought this suit in federal court seeking to overturn Act 10, arguing that it violated public employees’ First Amendment rights.  WILL filed amicus briefs countering those arguments.  The 7th Circuit concluded the law was constitutional.

Filed: July 2011

Closed Case

WEAC v. Walker

Unions brought this suit in federal court seeking to overturn Act 10, arguing that it made unconstitutional distinctions between general employees and public safety employees.  WILL filed amicus briefs arguing the distinction was justified and if it wasn’t, the proper fix was to remove the exemption for public safety employees.  The 7th Circuit concluded the law was constitutional.

Filed: June 2011