Witold Walczak

Title/Position

Legal Director

Department

Legal

Witold "Vic" Walczak, has litigated civil rights case for more than 30 years, the past 25 with the ACLU. Since 2004, Walczak has served as the ACLU of Pennsylvania’s Legal Director, overseeing litigation statewide. Walczak has personally handled many nationally significant cases, including Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, the first case successfully challenging the teaching in public schools of "intelligent design" creationism; Lozano v. Hazleton, the first case successfully challenging a municipality's misguided attempt to exclude undocumented immigrants; Applewhite v. Commonwealth, which overturned Pennsylvania’s restrictive Voter ID law; andWhitewood v. Wolf, which in 2014 reversed Pennsylvania’s ban on marriages by same-sex couples. In the mid-1990’s Walczak handled major police misconduct cases against the City of Pittsburgh that paved the way for the first ever intervention by the U.S. Department of Justice to overhaul a major city police department. In the early 2000’s, he led a nationwide ACLU effort to challenge and ultimately stop the use by President Bush of “protest zones,” which unconstitutionally restricted protesters to faraway locations. In the past two years, Walczak settled a class action lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services challenging lengthy delays in transferring mentally incompetent criminal defendants from jail to mental hospitals and won a preliminary injunction ordering the Lancaster School District to stop discriminating against refugee students and provide them equal educational opportunities, a decision the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed in January 2017. Prior to joining the ACLU, Walczak spent five years handling prisoners’ rights cases for the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau. Walczak is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has received many professional awards. He is a graduate of Colgate University and Boston College Law School. He and his wife have been together for over 30 years and have three grown children. Walczak is a lifelong soccer player, avid biker, photographer and huge Bruce Springsteen fan.(Pittsburgh)