Law Forward exists to protect and strengthen our democracy. Law Forward stands for a commitment to fair, transparent, and representative government; where Wisconsinites can participate in free, fair elections where their votes count.
Law Forward opened in 2020 with a mission of protecting democracy. That started with redistricting litigation and one staff attorney. Today, Law Forward has grown to a staff of eight and works on multiple fronts to protect our freedoms and fight for a state where everyone can participate in free, fair elections and where their votes matter.
What We Do
Strategic litigation makes long-term, systemic change Wisconsin needs. Rather than fight individual cases as they arise, we take a broader view and think about how each individual case helps advance a larger vision. Law Forward wants to guide the law’s evolution, so that Wisconsin’s democracy is strengthened and as a result, we achieve more equitable policies and a fairer process for all Wisconsinites.
Litigating legislative overreach
Law Forward confronts legislative malfeasance on all available grounds—procedural errors, substantive shortcomings, and inconsistency with the state and federal constitutions.
Test-driving new legal ideas
Law Forward develops and litigates powerful test cases. We advance innovation by convening and participating in discussions about new approaches. We work on our own and in partnership with academics, legal scholars, and partner organizations to build a new strategic vision of the law.
Challenging administrative action—and inaction
Law Forward engages at all stages of those processes, monitoring regulatory development, challenging unlawful application (or avoidance) of existing regulatory provisions, and using oft-neglected statutory mechanisms to ensure that agencies fulfill their regulatory mandates.
Law Forward was launched in 2020 because the rightwing legal movement had systemically used litigation to achieve legislative and legal objectives to consolidate power among the few. From restricting access to the polls, entrenching minority-rule through partisan gerrymandering, and undoing the framework of Wisconsin’s democracy; we are on the frontlines to repel these anti-democratic attacks.
Law Forward is a pro-voter, pro-democracy nonprofit that was created because Wisconsin needed a legal organization that could strategically develop the law in the progressive tradition Wisconsin is known for. We build cases and identify opportunities to protect the right to vote and strengthen free and fair elections. Our work engages policymakers, the legal community, and the public on legal issues, expanding both opportunities and demand for progressive change.
Challenged Wisconsin's gerrymandered maps.
Continuing our long battle against gerrymandering in Wisconsin, Law Forward filed an original action with the Supreme Court of Wisconsin. Equal weight should be given to all Wisconsinites’ voices.
Held 13 election deniers accountable.
Law Forward believes that the coordinated and deliberate effort to subvert the will of the voters in 2020 must not happen again. We filed a civil suit against Wisconsin’s fake electors and the attorneys who orchestrated the scheme. We’ve also filed a complaint against Wisconsin’s top election denier Michael Gableman and continue to monitor the actions of other elections deniers and their efforts to disrupt election administration in WI.
Appeared in 8 state and federal courts.
Law Forward attorneys have appeared in several county circuit courts, appellate district courts, and both the Supreme Courts of Wisconsin and the United States. The fight for democracy occurs in every county and at all levels of government. Law Forward promises we will be there to join the fight.
Filed 7 amicus briefs.
From Wisconsin circuit courts, up to the U.S. Supreme Court, Law Forward is shaping the law and standing up for democracy. Law Forward has filed several amicus briefs in cases, such as Moore v. Harper and Werner v. Dankmeyer, in order to preserve democratic rule of law and protect voter rights.
Published 11 reports.
At Law Forward, we use our voice and our expertise to shape the policy discussions happening around core democratic principles. Whether it is breaking down key democracy decisions from the Wisconsin Supreme Court or partnering with national leaders on dangerous trends in election administration, we try to make connections between legal actions highlight trends and patterns occurring that threaten to undermine democracy.
Partnered with more than 25 organizations.
Law Forward works in service of our partners, representing key pro-democracy organizations like BLOC, WISDOM, SEIU and LWVW. Law Forward partners with leaders in the civic engagement community like the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, Wisconsin State Voices and Wisconsin Conservation Voices. In facilitating these partnerships, we have built coalitions that unite legal experts, democracy leaders, and community advocates with each other and with vital resources.