William Maurer

Managing Attorney of the Institute for Justice Washington Office

William R. Maurer is the Managing Attorney of the Washington state office of the Institute for Justice, which engages in litigation in the areas of economic liberty, private property rights, educational choice, & freedom of speech.

Maurer is a nationally recognized advocate against the criminalization of poverty and the governmental use of the criminal and civil enforcement systems to raise revenue. He was lead counsel in a class action challenging the use of tickets to raise revenue in the city of Pagedale, Missouri. The suit resulted in a ground-breaking federal consent decree that fundamentally reformed the city’s ticketing and municipal court system. He regularly speaks, teaches, and writes about the abuse of fines and fees in the criminal justice system. He was a participant in summits on taxation by citation put on by the White House and Department of Justice during the Obama Administration. His work on the issue includes serving as an advisory board member of the Fines and Fees Justice Center.

In addition to his work on criminal and civil justice reform, Maurer is a nationally recognized First Amendment litigator. In 2011, he successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that Arizona’s punitive campaign financing regime was unconstitutional. Before the Washington Supreme Court, he successfully argued against efforts to classify radio commentary as a contribution under the state’s campaign finance law.

His cases and advocacy have been covered in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, and other major media outlets.

Maurer was named a “Washington Superlawyer” by Washington Law & Politics Magazine for several years. He is a chapter author in numerous legal reference works and has written several articles for law reviews and legal publications across the country.

Prior to joining IJ-WA, Maurer clerked for Washington Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders and then practiced law at Perkins Coie LLP.  Maurer received his law degree in 1994 from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he was an editor of the Wisconsin Law Review. He received his BA from Bard College in 1989.

William's Cases

Fines and Fees | Private Property

New York Permit Fines

Joe Corsini keeps a pigeon coop on the roof of his home, like many other New Yorkers. The city’s Department of Buildings saddled him with thousands of dollars in fines for not having a license…

Fines and Fees | Private Property

Memphis Environmental Court

When a court proceeding may result in a person losing their home, the U.S. Constitution demands a fair process with rigorous safeguards against erroneous deprivation. But the process is Shelby County, Tennessee, is anything but…

Clients

Fines and Fees | Private Property

New Orleans Ankle Monitors

Judges must be impartial when deciding to deprive a person of his or her property. Unfortunately, one judge in New Orleans has been ordering individuals to wear an ankle monitor from a company in which…

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William's Research & Reports

The Regulation of Grassroots Lobbying

First Amendment

The Regulation of Grassroots Lobbying

President Obama’s domestic policies have generated opposition among many in the general public and mobilized previously uninvolved citizens. This opposition has manifested itself in public rallies, “tea party” protests, and spirited feedback at town hall…

Davis v. FEC and the Constitutionality of “Clean Elections” Systems

First Amendment

Davis v. FEC and the Constitutionality of “Clean Elections” Systems

In a “clean elections” system, taxpayer funded candidates must agree to limit their campaign spending. Imposing limits on campaign spending for candidates who forego taxpayer dollars and instead run traditional campaigns would be unconstitutional. Most…

A False Sense of Security

Eminent Domain | Private Property

A False Sense of Security

Washington state law is rife with opportunities for eminent domain abuse.

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William's Amicus Briefs

Yes v. Savage

Yes v. Savage

US Court of Appeals Tenth Circuit

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William's News, Articles & Publications

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