William R. Maurer

William R. Maurer

Managing Attorney of the Washington Office, Institute for Justice

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 an 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 federal consent decree that 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 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.


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