Burns Bair Strikes a Blow for Wisconsin Ballot Access

On February 2, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin ordered the Wisconsin Election Commission to place Congressman Dean Phillips’ name on the primary ballot in response to a lawsuit on his behalf brought by lawyers at Burns Bair LLP and Foster Garvey.  Phillips had sued the commission over his exclusion from the ballot, which he said was done without considering whether he met requirements for national news media recognition necessary to be put on the ballot under Wisconsin statutes.

The high court responded to Phillips’ emergency petition with a 10-page order saying the selection committee “failed to demonstrate that it exercised its discretion” under the relevant statute and case law and ordered the elections commission to place Phillips on the ballot. “This  lawsuit was hotly contested by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, but the Supreme Court’s decision was without dissent—a rarity these days in election law cases in Wisconsin,” said the firm’s Tim Burns.