Timeline of Victories
WILL, Buchman V. ECASD: WILL and our client have received a completed open records request from the Eau Claire Area School District, securing an important victory for open records and transparency. The school district initially withheld the records until our lawsuit prompted them to comply with the law.
WILL V. MMSD: We settled a landmark open records lawsuit with the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD), securing thousands of dollars in punitive damages and reforms to how the school district processes open records. This is a major victory for government transparency and the equal treatment of all students in Wisconsin.
WLHS v. City of Milwaukee: The judge ruled in our favor, as Wisconsin law provides property tax exemptions for educational and religious institutions. The City of Milwaukee and Wisconsin Lutheran High School entered a settlement, to refund the school’s 2022 tax payment and continue its exemption going forward.
Nuziard et al. v. MBDA: WILL’s groundbreaking lawsuit challenged the Biden Administration’s racially discriminatory Minority Business Development Agency programming. Securing a preliminary injunction here reaffirmed that the government cannot discriminate on the basis of race, as established in the Constitution.
Britto v. ATF: WILL won this critical Second Amendment case via preliminary injunction, blocking President Biden’s illegal gun grab on behalf of our clients. WILL was the first organization to file a lawsuit against the federal rule.
Dane County v. A Leap Above: Dane County dropped its case against WILL Client “A Leap Above,” a dance studio that was wrongfully cited for violating a COVID-19 public health order. WILL’s efforts helped save the small business over $20,000 in fines.
- Johnson v. WEC: The Wisconsin Supreme Court issued an opinion in our redistricting case that adopts criteria for the redistricting process. The decision from the Court adopts WILL’s proposal that the Court not consider political partisanship when approving new legislative districts, and will seek to make the “least changes” from the current maps.
- Vitolo v. Guzman: WILL obtained preliminary injunction against the Biden administration before the Sixth Circuit (Tennessee), halting a 29 billion-dollar federal COVID relief program that distributed benefits on the basis of race and sex. We secured the first preliminary injunction in the country!
- Faust v. Vilsack: In our most notable “farmer case,” U.S. District Griesbach issued a temporary restraining order halting payments in a federal farmer loan forgiveness program that allocates benefits on the basis of racial categories. WILL represented 12 farmers from multiple states, all of who would be eligible for the federal loan forgiveness program, but for their race.
- WCRIS v. Heinrich: The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that Dane County’s public health director’s order closing private schools to in-person instruction for certain grades was illegal. This was our sixth win in the High Court in only a decade.
- Cohoon v. Konrath: The Court ruled that a deputy sheriff violated our client’s First Amendment rights by demanding that she remove a COVID-19 related social media post.
- Hunter Nation v. DNR: A win for hunters and the Rule of Law! In the “wolf case,” the Judge issued a decision that the (DNR) decision to not immediately establish a hunting and trapping season for wolves in 2021 violated state statute and the state constitutional right to hunt.
- WILL provided over 60 instances of free legal support and services to schools and school choice allies throughout 2021.
- WILL completed its largest policy project to date, an 11-month review of the 2020 election. As part of the review, we produced actionable reforms for the legislature to adopt.
Another win for free speech in Polly Olsen v. Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, where our client was silenced by the college for handing out religious-themed Valentines. In Koschkee v. Taylor, we win again before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, establishing that educational policy in the state of Wisconsin is made by the legislature and not by the state Superintendent of Public Instruction. We file the “voter roll” case, Zignego v. Wisconsin Election Commission, in an effort to clean up Wisconsin’s voter rolls. Our policy team releases “The Impact of Medicaid Expansion,” arming the Wisconsin legislature with much-needed research to protect citizens from expanded government control of the healthcare sector.
- The Wisconsin Supreme Court decides in our clients’ favor in Milewski v. Town of Dover. The Court ruled that statutes stripping owners of appeal rights, if they refuse to consent to an interior search of their home, are unconstitutional. WILL issues “Apples to Apples” report on school choice and wins cases in the Wisconsin Supreme Court on behalf of property owners and parents. The Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds Right to Work
- We assisted in John Doe litigation by filing an amicus brief with the Wisconsin Supreme Court and increased litigation throughout the state. Our policy team expanded their reports on school choice and other key Wisconsin reforms. In LaCroix v. Kenosha Unified District, the circuit court judge ruled in our client’s favor – that the school district’s contract was void due to violation of Act 10.
We triumph in JEAMAC v. Milwaukee. In support of Act 10, we sue local governments who choose to defy it and file an amicus brief with the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Our new policy research team issues its first public report, “Vacant Schools.” Krueger v. Appleton School District is filed and goes all the way to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. In 2017, the justices ruled unanimously in favor of our client stating that the District had violated the open meetings law.
- Rick Esenberg, former editor of the Harvard Law Review, founds WILL to take the battle for freedom to the courts. Our firm’s first original action against the Government Accountability Board is litigated, as well as several amicus briefs justifying the voter I.D. law and in support of Act 10. We filed a petition with the Wisconsin Public Service Commission asking that the City of Milwaukee, instead of WE Energy customers, pay to move the utilities necessary for the streetcar project – we would prevail in 2014.