TImeline of Victories

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2024

  • WILL successfully pressures Beloit School District to rescind its discriminatory policy. The “Grow Your Own Multicultural Teacher Scholarship Program” used race-based eligibility to hire and allocate teacher benefits. Beloit School District agreed to halt the program and make all necessary changes to promote equality. 
  • IRG v. Godlewski: WILL, on behalf of IRG, reached a favorable settlement with Secretary of State Sarah Godlewski on July 8, 2024. Secretary Godlewski altered her policies to now classify private emails as responsive records when used to conduct official government business.
  • Suhr v. Dietrich: WILL reached a favorable settlement with the State Bar on April 4th, 2024.  The State Bar is abandoning the DEI principles behind their program.
  • WILL announced a settlement between its client, Rev. Dr. Gregory Schulz, DMin, PhD, and Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW), where Dr. Schulz served as professor of philosophy until he was suspended in February 2022 for criticizing what he regarded as the politically “woke” direction of the university.

  • Nuziard et al. v MBDA: WILL secured a permanent injunction against this discriminatory Biden Agency.
  • Redistricting: SCOWIS declined to hear a review of Wisconsin’s Congressional Map
  • SCWA et al. v. WI DPI: A judge ruled in our favor and DPI must revisit their policies blocking parents and students from accessing Wisconsin’s Choice Program.

  • Brown v. WEC: The Racine County Circuit Court ruled in our favor, declaring that the City’s use of a mobile voting van at particular sites around the City was illegal under state law. 
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2023

WILL and the Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF) secured a Free Speech victory for Young America’s Foundation (YAF). The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse initially denied the conservative student-organization’s designation because YAF rightfully refused to sign onto a “DEI” inclusivity statement, which opposed the group’s values and violated their First Amendment Rights. UW-La Crosse backed down the very next day, only after WILL and MSLF threatened legal action on behalf of YAF.

A Title IX investigation has been opened into the Sun Prairie Area School District (SPASD) by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR). WILL filed a complaint in June of 2023 following a troubling incident that occurred at SPASD, where an 18-year-old male who identified as transgender showered completely undressed next to four freshman girls in the girls’ locker room.

WEC v. Braun: WILL successfully challenged WEC’s use of the National Mail Voter Registration Form in Wisconsin, which was issued by the United States Election Assistance Commission. 

Britto v. ATF: WILL won this critical Second Amendment case via a nationwide injunction, blocking President Biden’s illegal gun grab on behalf of every law-abiding, gun-owning American. WILL was the first organization to file a lawsuit against the federal rule.

WPT vs. Town of Buchanan: SCOWIS made unanimous ruling in favor of our client protecting property taxpayers in the town of Buchanan and across Wisconsin. 

NAGR, TGR v. ATF: WILL obtained a preliminary injunction that will protect hundreds of thousands of firearm owners across America. 

B.F. v. Kettle Moraine School District:  A Waukesha County Judge ruled in our favor supporting parents’ constitutional rights to raise their own children. The order also enjoined the school district from “refer[ring] to students using a name or pronouns at odds with the student’s biological sex, while at school, without express parental consent. The decision sets a significant precedent that will help achieve greater wins across the country.

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.

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. 

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2022
  • Johnson v. WEC: WILL scored a key victory in redistricting in Wisconsin with wins at SCOTUS, as well as at the Wisconsin Supreme Court. As a result of our original action, the Wisconsin Legislature’s race-neutral maps were adopted over the gerrymandered proposed maps put forth by Governor Evers.

    The Wall Street Journal cites WILL’s Review of the 2020 Election as “the best summary of the 2020 election.” This eleven-month, exhaustive review of the election directed WILL litigation, intending to restore integrity to the election process.

    Teigen v. WEC: WILL won at the Wisconsin Supreme Court, ending the practice known as “ballot harvesting,” and using unstaffed ballot boxes.

    Our testimony concerning a WEC rule regarding “ballot curing” at a JCRAR hearing resulted in suspension of the rule. This affirmed that state law provides clerks with two options when a ballot has missing information: return the ballot to the elector to correct, or don’t count it.

    Kiel Title IX Controversy: WILL’s pro bono representation resulted in having unreasonable Title IX harassment charges dropped against three young middle-school-aged boys in Wisconsin for “mispronouning” a fellow student. WILL has their records cleared.

    Milwaukee Archdiocese v. WI Department of Corrections: WILL won this religious liberty case, making it illegal to ban clergy from visiting prisoners, even in times of a pandemic.

    Sebring v. MPS: WILL saved taxpayers’ money by encouraging the Milwaukee Public School Board to amend a union leave policy. Teachers can no longer use “union leave” to promote the union on the taxpayer dime.

    Equality Under the Law: Our efforts continue.

    • Blaska v. City of Madison: The City of Madison’s Common Council dropped their unconstitutional racial quotas from its Civilian Police Oversight Board.
    • Moses v. Comcast: We reached a settlement with Comcast in a lawsuit challenging their race-based, small-business program.
    • We sent a letter demanding St. Louis-based SSM Health stop its COVID treatment program to distribute life-saving monoclonal antibodies based on race. After receiving our letter, SSM Health agreed to deliver COVID treatment on a race-neutral basis.

    Restoring American Education: WILL launched this initiative to engage parents, school board members, and teachers in Wisconsin and beyond. WILL provides model school board policies and other resources aimed at holding schools and school boards accountable for curriculum transparency and academic proficiency. Also, we collaborate with other organizations nation-wide to restore American values to our public schools.

    WILL won the “2022 SPN Network Award” for challenging the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) authority to issue a sweeping emergency rule related to a vaccine mandate for employers with 100 or more employees. We represented two Wisconsin manufacturing businesses in this lawsuit.

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2021
  • 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.
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2020
  • We celebrate our first grant of certiorari at the United States Supreme Court in another religious liberty lawsuit, St. Augustine School v. Evers, as the court remands the case based on another SCOTUS decision where we were also instrumental by filing an amicus brief supporting the winning side (Espinoza v. Montana). We prevail in the state Supreme Court in Bartlett v. Evers, overturning certain of Governor Evers’ vetoes, ending the abusive veto that allowed governors to rewrite laws passed as part of the budget. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we filed an amicus brief bolstering the legislature’s claim that the Governor’s ability to issue “stay-at-home” orders without the state’s legislative approval is unlawful. The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that the illegal orders be overturned. In yet another case against the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, we secure a victory for choice schools to use virtual learning in the same manner as public schools. This became vitally important during the shutdown. We release our “Wisconsin Speech Code Review” which details the speech-restrictive policies in our Wisconsin colleges.

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2019
  • 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.

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2018
  • A hard fought victory is earned for Professor McAdams as the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Marquette breached his contract in censoring him. We file new lawsuits supporting academic freedom, school choice, and economic liberty, most notably, the “wedding barn case.” Our policy team releases two reports on the opioid crisis and the resulting strains on Wisconsin’s foster care system. 

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2017
  • The Wisconsin Supreme Court decides in our clients’ favor in Milewski v. Town of DoverThe 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
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2016
  • We file the infamous McAdams v. Marquette case. Our client, a tenured, conservative professor for over 30 years was terminated by the university over his blog post. It would prove to be a long, protracted battle. We continued defending WI’s Right to Work Law. Our policy team releases “Fencing Out Opportunity,” the first in a series regarding occupational licensing issues in Wisconsin.

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2015
  • 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.
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2014
  • We fought back against a free speech assault on conservatives by rogue prosecutors in the so-called John Doe investigation. The Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds Act 10. We file Milewski v. Town of Dover, concerning the right to privacy in one’s own home. We prevail in Young v. Government Accountability Board, a federal case that challenged Wisconsin’s aggregate campaign contribution limits. 

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2013
  • 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. 

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2012
  • We are on the winning side in defending historic Act 10 public employee union reforms. We filed our first free speech case, Vanden Boogart, et al. v. Christensen, et al., which resulted in a favorable settlement for our client. Our first religious freedom case, Jerusalem Empowered African Methodist Episcopal Church (JEAMAC) v. City of Milwaukee, is also filed.
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2011
  • 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.