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Case Name Wisconsin Legislature v. Palm PR-WI-0001
Docket / Court 2020AP765-OA ( State Court )
State/Territory Wisconsin
Case Type(s) Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: On April 21, 2020, the Wisconsin Legislature filed an emergency petition against the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to enjoin the Emergency Orders passed in response to COVID-19. On May 13, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin declared Emergency Order 28 unlawful, invalid, and ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: On April 21, 2020, the Wisconsin Legislature filed an emergency petition against the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to enjoin the Emergency Orders passed in response to COVID-19. On May 13, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin declared Emergency Order 28 unlawful, invalid, and unenforceable.


On April 21, 2020, the Wisconsin Legislature filed an emergency petition for action against the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) to enjoin the Emergency Orders passed in response to COVID-19. This emergency petition was filed in response to a series of orders passed in response to COVID-19. On March 12, 2020, Governor Tony Evers issued Executive Order 72, which directed DHS to take measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the state. On March 24, “at the direction of” the Governor, the defendant issued Emergency Order 12 requiring Wisconsin citizens to stay at home, prohibiting non-essential travel, and closure of all non-essential businesses. On April 16, the defendant issued Emergency Order 28, which imposed criminal penalties for violations of the order.

Filed in the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, the plaintiffs brought this action under state law and argued that the defendant exceeded the department’s authority. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant violated the state’s governing emergency rules by issuing Emergency Order 28 without complying with the rulemaking procedures. The plaintiff sought a declaratory judgment that Order 28 was invalid and unenforceable. The plaintiffs also filed a motion for a temporary injunction to enjoin Order 28, with a six-day stay on the injunction to allow DHS to promulgate a new rule. They were represented by private attorneys.


On April 29, Legal Action of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Public Health Association, and other independent organizations filed amicus briefs in support of the defendants. They argued that Order 28 was not a rule and that DHS had statutory authority to support the order. Three independent organizations filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiff.

Oral argument was held on May 5. On May 13, the Wisconsin Supreme Court declared Emergency Order 28 unlawful, invalid and unenforceable. 391 Wis.2d 497. Specifically, the court found Order 28 to be a rule under Wisconsin statute, and because the defendant did not follow the procedures for rule-making during the promulgation of Order 28, no criminal penalties were to be imposed. The Supreme Court also held that the defendant exceeded their authority.

Averyn Lee - 06/14/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Plaintiff Type
State Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Appellate Court is initial court
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Wisconsin Department of Health Services
Plaintiff Description The Wisconsin Legislature
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Declaratory Judgment
Source of Relief Litigation
Filed 04/21/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
2020AP000765-OA (State Supreme Court)
PR-WI-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/13/2020
Source: State Court Website
General Documents
Memorandum in Support of Legislature's Emergency Petition for Original Action and Emergency Motion for Temporary Injunction
PR-WI-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/21/2020
Source: State Court Website
Non-Party Brief of Amici Curiae, Wisconsin Manufactures and Commerce and Wisconsin Dairy Alliance in Support of Wisconsin Legislature's Emergency Petition for an Original Action and in Support of the Emergency Motion for a Temporary Injunction
PR-WI-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/29/2020
Source: State Court Website
Non-Party Brief of Amici Curiae, IBAW et al., in Support of Emergency Petition for an Original Action and in Support of the Emergency Motion for a Temporary Injunction
PR-WI-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/29/2020
Source: State Court Website
Non-Party Brief of Legal Scholars as Amici Curiae in Support of Respondents
PR-WI-0001-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/29/2020
Source: State Court Website
Non-Party Brief and Appendix of the Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards and Associated Municipalities and Counties
PR-WI-0001-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/29/2020
Source: State Court Website
Brief of Amici Curiae Disability Rights Wisconsin, The Arc Wisconsin, The Arc, and Disability and Aging Organizations
PR-WI-0001-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/29/2020
Source: State Court Website
Amicus Memorandum of Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. in Opposition to Emergency Petition for Original Action and to Motion for Temporary Injunction
PR-WI-0001-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/29/2020
Source: State Court Website
Non-Party of the Tavern League of Wisconsin
PR-WI-0001-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/29/2020
Source: State Court Website
Brief of Wisconsin Public Health Association, Wisconsin Nurses Association, Wisconsin Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics and Other Healthcare Amici Curiae
PR-WI-0001-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/29/2020
Source: State Court Website
Non-Party Brief of Amici Curiae, Hunter Nation et al., in Support of the Emergency Petition for an Original Action and in Support of the Emergency Motion for Temporary Injunction
PR-WI-0001-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/29/2020
Source: State Court Website
Brief of Amici Curiae 24 Wisconsin Community, Advocacy, Labor, and Membership Organizations
PR-WI-0001-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/29/2020
Source: State Court Website
Brief of Non-Party Americans for Prosperity - Wisconsin as Amicus Curiae
PR-WI-0001-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/29/2020
Source: State Court Website
Amicus Brief of Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice
PR-WI-0001-0013.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/29/2020
Source: State Court Website
Original Action (942 N.W.2d 900)
PR-WI-0001-0014.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/13/2020
Source: State Court Website
show all people docs
Judges Bradley, Ann Walsh (State Supreme Court) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0014 | PR-WI-0001-9000
Bradley, Rebecca Grassl Court not on record show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0014 | PR-WI-0001-9000
Dallet, Rebecca Frank Court not on record show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0014 | PR-WI-0001-9000
Hagedorn, Brian Court not on record show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0014 | PR-WI-0001-9000
Kelly, Daniel Court not on record show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0014 | PR-WI-0001-9000
Roggensack, Patience Drake (State Supreme Court) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0014 | PR-WI-0001-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers McLeod, Eric M. (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0001
Miller, Amy C. (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0001
Ruhland, Lane E. (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0001
Walsh, Ryan J. (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0001
Other Lawyers Aubrey, Amanda C (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0007
Bailey, Carlos (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0007
Barnett, Lauren C (California) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0006
Bemis, Zachary P (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0008
Berg, Luke N. (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0003
Blonien, Barry J (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0004
Bolinder, Eric R (Virginia) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0012
Daun, Margaret C (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0005
DeVore, Megan L (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0005
Dregne, Matthew (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0005
Esenberg, Richard M. (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0003
Fassbender, Robert I (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0002
Fernholz, Matthew M (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0012
Fish, Corydon J (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0002
Friedman, James A (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0008
Gagliardi, Paul V (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0005
Gants, Brendan B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0006
Glicksman, Benjamin J (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0013
Goldenberg, Elaine J (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0006
Greenlee, Robert (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0005
Guidote, Joesph P. Jr. (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0005
Held, Robert Bebb (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0007
Jarchow, Adam M (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0010
Joos, Melissa Brooke (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0005
Kerschensteiner, Kristin (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0006
Kravit, Stephen E (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0013
Krueger, Elizabeth A (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0005
Lenz, Maxted M (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0008
Leonard, Mark A (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0005
Letteney, Scott R (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0005
LoCoco, Anthony (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0003
MacKenzie, Marcia A (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0005
Mandell, Jeffrey A (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0009
Matty, Stephen F (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0005
May, Michael P. (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0005
Nick, Stephen C (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0005
Poland, Douglas Maynard (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0011
Saks, Richard (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0011
Schmidt-Lehman, Judith (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0005
Seifter, Miriam (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0004
Spencer, Tearman (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0005
Swan, Mary Ann (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0005
Vebber, Lucas (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0003
Wakschlag, Shira (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0006
Yablon, Robert (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0004
Zisman, Valerie A (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
PR-WI-0001-0005

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