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Legislative Update

WI Supreme Court strikes down Safer At Home order

by | May 13, 2020 | Legislative Update Blog, State Issue

The Wisconsin Supreme Court today, in a 4-3 decision, struck down Emergency Order 28 issued by DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm, declaring it unlawful, invalid, and unenforceable.  The majority concluded that Palm’s order, issued on April 16, confining all people to their homes, forbidding travel and closing businesses exceeded her statutory authority.

We are still reviewing the opinion, but it appears to state that the ruling does not cover the portion of the order (Section 4. a.) that covers school closings.

The majority issued its ruling on the basis that the Emergency Order is a rule, and therefore is subject to statutory emergency rulemaking procedures established by the Legislature. Because those procedures were not followed, the Court ruled the order is unenforceable and there can be no criminal penalties for violations of the order.

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