Strategic Litigation Against the Government

The government is, in many ways, stronger than private litigants. For example, the government is insensitive to costs and enjoys explicit and implicit presumptions of legitimacy. Those advantages give the government a significant edge over private litigants; in truth, these factors tip the scale in many cases.

At the same time, the government has significant vulnerabilities relative to private parties. The government is, for example, subject to public records laws and political pressures in ways that private parties are not. And certain constitutional, ethical, and procedural requirements apply only against governmental actors.

Statecraft approaches government litigation with these strengths and weaknesses in mind. We understand very well the parties’ different pressure points, and plan our cases accordingly. This perspective allows us to litigate against the government with unusual efficiency and effectiveness.
Our civil rights litigation experience includes the following:

  • Successfully defended the Arizona State Senate in a lawsuit challenging the chamber’s constitutional powers and jurisdiction.
  • Counsel for major healthcare association and hospital networks in litigation challenging the constitutionality of Medicaid statute. The claim is valued at approximately $2.7 billion annually.
  • Counsel for intervenors in lawsuit concerning school funding adjustments. The claim is valued at more than $1.7 billion.
  • Appellate counsel in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a statewide school funding scheme. The claim was valued at $135 million annually.
  • Successfully challenged in state court the retroactive application of a funding law to charter schools, valued at approximately $2 million (and recovered legal fees from the government).
  • Litigated multiple public records disputes, on an expedited basis, in state court.

Statecraft attorneys have particularly deep experience in litigation concerning elections. Noteworthy matters include the following:

  • Litigation counsel for Gov. Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.
  • Challenged in federal court, including an en banc argument before the Ninth Circuit, the constitutionality of Tucson’s “hybrid” electoral system.
  • Successfully represented a congressional campaign committee in recount proceedings.  The client’s lead grew from 9 votes to 27 votes.
  • Successfully challenged in federal court the constitutionality of an ongoing election, receiving an order cancelling the election and directing the city to hold a special election (and recovered legal fees from the government).
  • Successfully challenged in federal court the improper disqualification of a municipal candidate (and recovered legal fees from the government).
  • Successfully challenged in federal court the constitutionality of a ballot access statute for statewide candidates (and recovered legal fees from the government).
  • Successfully sued in federal court to reverse the invalidation of an internal leadership election by the Maricopa County Republican Party.
  • Has advised on more than 10 ballot access challenges in 7 states. Served as counsel of record for clients in ballot access challenges in trial and appellate courts.