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Wisconsin Supreme Court Will Hear GOP Challenge To ‘Safer At Home’ Order

Justices Scheduled Oral Arguments For Tuesday

Wisconsin Supreme Court
Shamane Mills/WPR

The state Supreme Court announced Friday that it will hear a Republican challenge to Wisconsin’s “Safer at Home” order, scheduling oral arguments in the case for Tuesday.

The court accepted the case in a brief order issued Friday afternoon. Justice Rebecca Dallet, one of the court’s liberals, dissented.

Justices didn’t weigh in on the merits of the case, but their order means that the court will hear the case directly rather than having to wait for it to proceed through the usual appeal process.

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Republicans filed the lawsuit last week, telling justices that state Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm exceeded her constitutional authority when she issued an extension to the stay-at-home order.

Republicans asked the court to overturn the order but give lawmakers and the governor six days to come up with an alternative through the Legislature’s administrative rule-making process.

Palm’s attorneys at the state Department of Justice asked the court to dismiss the case, writing that her powers were well established in state law and that waiting on the administrative rulemaking process could take weeks to play out when responding to a pandemic requires immediate action.

Conservatives hold a 5-2 majority on the court. This will be the first time they have weighed in on Palm’s emergency powers.