Milwaukee decided that a small plot of open land a north side church used for religious and charitable purposes was “unnecessary”, and tried to tax it. We sued and convinced a judge not only that the land was necessary, but that a state law prohibiting the church from challenging their exemption denial until they paid the tax was unconstitutional.
The First Amendment protects the right of people to use public spaces to engage in free speech. We successfully defended a street preacher from a municipal trespassing ticket.
In this case, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down federal aggregate campaign contribution limits, concluding that prohibiting donors from donating to as many candidates as they wanted (within individual limits) violate the First Amendment. WILL filed an amicus brief arguing that the Court should stop giving more deference to contribution limits than to independent expenditure limits.
Wisconsin prosecutors engaged in a partisan witch hunt, targeting conservative political and issue groups and alleging that they illegally “coordinated” with the Scott Walker campaign. We filed amicus briefs in a number of related cases standing up for the right of people to communicate with their elected officials without losing the right to speak on political issues. The Wisconsin Supreme Court agreed and shut down the investigation.
Wisconsin law says if you don’t let an appraiser come inside your house, you can’t challenge your assessment, no matter how unfair it is. We filed a lawsuit on behalf of a couple who asserted their Fourth Amendment right to refuse to consent to a government search and were punished for standing up for their rights. The Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the law.
Should cities be able to declare your garden a nuisance and destroy it without giving you the chance to argue your side? That’s exactly what Green Bay did, and we filed a lawsuit seeking to hold them accountable. In the end, the city settled, paying the Gerhards for their damages and attorney fees.
Marquette guarantees its professors full academic freedom and First Amendment rights. Yet it indefinitely suspended – without pay – Professor John McAdams, a tenured conservative professor, because he criticized a graduate student instructor who told a student his opinions on gay marriage were homophobic and could not be voiced in her class. We sued Marquette University, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that it breached McAdams’ teaching contract.
Establishment Clause jurisprudence is hopelessly muddled and unmoored from its actual constitutional text. We filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to take a Ten Commandments case to straighten it out, but the Court declined.