As was expected, today Republican leaders in the state legislature took Tony Evers and DHS Secretary Designate Andrea Palm to court. They are requesting an emergency order from the State Supreme Court to have the recent extension of the Safer at Home order rolled back. Under the recent extension non-essential businesses, schools, and other entities will remain closed until May 26. Republicans are attempting to stop the DHS Secretary from implementing emergency rules without first consulting with the legislature.

"Purporting to act under color of State law, an unelected, unconfirmed cabinet secretary has laid claim to a suite of czar-like powers — unlimited in scope and indefinite in duration — over the people of Wisconsin," the complaint reads. 

Republicans are taking the matter directly to the conservative-leaning State Supreme Court, apparently in an attempt to bypass all of the lower courts which may not be as amenable to overriding the Governor and DHS Secretary. 

The points of contention are that Evers and Palm violated state law by not consulting with the legislature on the emergency rules (as required by legislation passed during the lame-duck session at the end of Scott Walker's administration) and that the emergency rules do not have a clear end date. 

Just as troubling, the Secretary asserts that her go-it-alone shutdown authority has no expiration date— making it greater than even the Governor’s emergency powers. To be sure, Emergency Order 28 says it terminates on May 26, but nothing suggests that it won’t be extended again. Perhaps it will even run into 2021. In any case, by the time the Secretary sees fit to lift her decree (be it in five weeks or eight months), many Wisconsinites will have lost their jobs, and many companies will have gone under, to say nothing of the Order’s countless other downstream societal effects. Our State will be in shambles. 

Additionally, the filing contends that Secretary-Designee Palm exceeded her authority by closing businesses in the state, ordering people to stay at home, and prohibiting much travel in the state. 

According to today's count there are 4,620 tested COVID-19 infections in the state and 242 people have died. 

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Steve Hanson

Steve is a web designer and recently retired from running the hosting and development company Cruiskeen Consulting LLC. Cruiskeen Consulting LLC is the parent company of Wis.Community, and publication of this site continues after his retirement.

Steve is a member of LION Publishers and the Local Media Consortium, is active in Health Dunn Right, and is vice-president of the League of Women Voters of the greater Chippewa Valley



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