Wiley Rein LLP

Election Law & Government Ethics | ELECTION LAW LITIGATION

Wiley Rein has an incomparable depth of experience in election law, First Amendment, and other constitutional litigation.  From our offices in Washington, DC, we successfully represent clients before federal district courts, appellate courts, and the Supreme Court of the United States, as well as in state courts.  This representation involves First Amendment, equal protection, and due process challenges to election laws, voting rights, redistricting, ballot access cases, and defense of clients in Federal Election Commission (FEC) and state litigation. 

Because discovery in litigation today is often unduly expensive, the firm thoughtfully crafts the discovery it initiates for its clients and resists over-broad discovery directed at its clients by adversaries.  Within the scope of proper discovery, the firm is experienced in the full range of discovery-related tasks, including computerization of documents and transcripts, protection of privileged and other confidential materials, discovery from experts, discovery overseas, and discovery from and by the government, including interrelated civil and criminal proceedings.

Our ranks include many experienced, skilled trial lawyers.  We are fully prepared to take a case to trial (either jury or non-jury) when appropriate. At the same time, our strong trial capabilities often enhance our ability to obtain advantageous settlements for our clients.  We counsel our clients on whether and when to settle and offer creative approaches to settlement.  Indeed, clients have repeatedly asked us to assist them in complex settlement negotiations in matters we are not otherwise handling.  We are also alert to opportunities for alternate dispute resolution (ADR) as a means of achieving optimal results for our clients.

Our recent litigation experience includes:

  • Challenging vague and over-broad provisions of the Illinois campaign finance laws.  Center for Individual Freedom v. Madigan, Case No. 10 CV 4383 (E.D. Ill. filed July 14, 2010).
  • Challenging the constitutionality of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (HLOGA) member disclosure provisions on First Amendment grounds. National Association of Manufacturers v. Taylor, 549 F. Supp. 2d 33 (D.D.C. 2008).
  • Winning rapid dismissal of a state political party’s complaint that a client’s televised issue ad made false claims. The ad described positions of a candidate for the U.S. Senate concerning a federal bill that would permit labor unions to force themselves on workers without a secret ballot.  The dismissal for lack of probable cause protected free speech about candidates and their positions. Brian Melendez v. Minnesotans for Employee Freedom, Employee Freedom Action Committee, King Banaian, Brian Worth, Mike Murphy, and Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, 11-0320-19823-CV, State of MN Office of Administrative Hearings (Order of Dismissal, August 18, 2008).
  • Settling litigation initiated by the FEC alleging that the Citizens Club for Growth was a political committee.  FEC v. Citizens Club for Growth, Inc., No. CV 05-01851 (RMU) (D.D.C. Sept. 6, 2007) (Consent Judgment).
  • Obtaining decisions upholding the Center for Individual Freedom’s First Amendment right to run television advertising discussing candidates for the Louisiana,  Pennsylvania, and West Virginia Supreme Courts. Center for Individual Freedom v. Carmouche, 449 F.3d 655 (5th Cir. 2006); Center for Individual Freedom v. Corbett, No. 07-2792, slip op. (E.D. Pa. Aug. 18, 2007); Center for Individual Freedom v. Ireland, 1:08-00190 slip op. (S.D. W.Va Apr. 22, 2008).
  • Submitting briefs of amicus curiae to the Supreme Court of the United States on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) in Citizens United v. FEC, 130 S. Ct. 876 (2010) (cited by the Court at oral argument and in its opinion), Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc. v. FEC, 546 U.S. 410 (2006), and FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc., 127 S. Ct. 2652 (2007) regarding challenges to federal regulation of corporate “express advocacy” and “electioneering communications.”
  • Leading a landmark constitutional challenge to the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), in which we represented Senator McConnell, the USCC, Associated Builders and Contractors, National Association of Manufacturers, and the California Republican Party.  McConnell v. FEC, 540 U.S. 93 (2003).

For more information on developments in Election Law Litigation, please see the related articles below:

Contact Us
Jan Witold Baran
202.719.7330 | jbaran@wileyrein.com

Michael E. Toner
202.719.7545 | mtoner@wileyrein.com

Thomas W. Kirby
202.719.7062 | tkirby@wileyrein.com

Carol A. Laham
202.719.7301 | claham@wileyrein.com

Caleb P. Burns
202.719.7451 | cburns@wileyrein.com