Elections, the right of individuals to vote, and the constitutional guardrails within which state, local, and federal governments must operate are at the heart of our democracy. Stafford Rosenbaum’s Election and Political Law attorneys have a deep understanding of both how government operates and the laws that apply to the elections by which voters choose the leaders who will represent our interests as elected officials.
Proven Experience and Unmatched Expertise
Our attorneys have a breadth of knowledge and practical experience with these laws that is unmatched in the state. We help voters, candidates, municipalities, public interest groups, and the public navigate the thicket of laws governing voting rights and elections. We advise elected officials, appointees, and others on how to comply with constitutional and statutory restrictions on government actions. And we represent individuals, organizations, and businesses that want to bring claims against government actions.
Here are recent examples:
- We obtained a preliminary injunction in federal court in two consolidated actions we filed on behalf of several individual voters, Disability Rights Wisconsin, Black Leaders Organizing for Communities, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, and others seeking greater protections for the November 2020 general election in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are currently defending that ruling on appeal and expect the case to go to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- We represent Disability Rights Wisconsin as intervenors in an original action before the Wisconsin Supreme Court addressing the statutory provision under Wisconsin law making it easier for voters who are “indefinitely confined” to obtain mail-in absentee ballots.
- We represent the Service Employees International Union Wisconsin Council, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, and others in opposing a lawsuit seeking to remove hundreds of thousands of registered voters from Wisconsin’s voting rolls.
- We represented complainants who successfully challenged the nomination papers of the Birthday Party (Kanye West) and the Green Party (Howie Hawkins) candidates seeking to be placed on the ballot for the November 2020 general election. We successfully defended motions for TROs in the state circuit court and the Wisconsin Supreme Court seeking to overturn the Wisconsin Elections Commission’s actions.
- Our attorneys obtained a preliminary injunction from a federal district court in April 2020 on behalf of Voces de la Frontera, Souls to the Polls, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, the Service Employees International Union Wisconsin Council, and other individuals and voting rights groups that secured an extension of the time in which Wisconsin voters could return absentee mail-in ballots beyond the April 7 election. Our lawyers successfully defended the injunction on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Governor Tony Evers retained Stafford Rosenbaum LLP as special counsel to help guide him through election law issues during the COVID-19 emergency.
- Governor Scott Walker hired Stafford Rosenbaum to represent the Government Accountability Board and its senior leaders in litigation arising from the John Doe investigation.
- We represented a candidate for Milwaukee County Executive when his nomination papers—and his spot on the ballot—were challenged.
- Our team advanced the views of the Wisconsin Public Health Association, the Wisconsin Nurses Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics Wisconsin Chapter, and other get-out-the-vote, health care, community, and labor organizations in support of the Safer at Home order issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- We have advised the Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments on options available to county and municipal governments in response to COVID-19 after the Safer at Home order was struck down.
- Our legal team brought suit on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, Disability Rights Wisconsin, Black Leaders Organizing for Communities, and others to challenge the constitutionality of the Legislature’s December 2018 Extraordinary Session.
- We argued in the Wisconsin Supreme Court on behalf of Madison Teachers, Inc. and several individual members opposing a challenge to the authority of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
- We represented in the U.S. Supreme Court the views of the Wisconsin Counties Association, the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, and the Wisconsin Towns Association on litigation about government takings of private property.
- Stafford Rosenbaum regularly represents individuals who bring challenges to government actions that took or diminished the value of their private property.
We frequently assist businesses in bringing administrative, and if necessary litigation, challenges to the legality of contracting decisions made by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
Stafford Rosenbaum has represented more than 100 local governments and special-purpose governmental districts as special counsel and/or general counsel. We also have represented dozens of individual voters and nonprofit voting advocacy groups and organizations in voting rights litigation. We appear frequently on these matters before the Wisconsin Elections Commission, and in state and federal courts at every level. From providing advice on compliance to strategizing precedent-setting litigation, individuals, government officials, corporations, non-profit organizations, and municipalities trust Stafford Rosenbaum’s election and political law team to clarify, navigate, vindicate, and, where necessary, change applicable law.
Our pragmatic, non-partisan, results-oriented approach has earned the confidence of our clients and the public alike.