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Many seek to have input in SaferAtHome extension lawsuit

The Brillion News

Posted on April 29, 2020 at 1:45 p.m.

MADISON - A lot of individuals and groups want to get in a few words before the Supreme Court of Wisconsin rules on a lawsuit filed by the state legislature - controlled by Republicans - challenging the extension of the SaferAtHome public health emergency order issued by the Democratic administration of Governor Tony Evers.

The extension was issued under Evers' direction by his unconfirmed Secretary of Health Services, Andrea Palm.

The court ordered that any non-party wishing to file a brief for or against the petition from the legislature had to have it filed by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29. The high court also limited the length of non-party briefs.

The supreme court gave the Department of Health Services until 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28, to file its response to the legislature's petition, and gave the legislature until 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 30, to respond to it.

The court allowed a "friend of the court" brief filed on behalf of an independent small business association, auto repair shop and hairdresser's salon, but denied a brief filed by two teachers' unions and another party because it exceeded the length the court set earlier.

Non-party briefs filed so far include those filed by a group of legal scholars, T. Wall Enterprises, Washington County, the Wisconsin Lakeshore Business Association (including fishing guides and individual fishermen), and Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice.

The legislature maintains that the governor's emergency declaration can be in effect for no more than 60 days without the legislature's approval, and that Evers is trying to get around that by having his non-elected DHS secretary extend it.

The brief filed on behalf of the Independent Business Association of Wisconsin, Double Decker Automotice and Shear Xcellence says the administration's actions "do not rise to the level of tyranny ... but come perilously close."

The legislature's leaders say the purpose of the suit is to force the Evers administration to work with the legislature in any extension of the emergency orders instead of extending it alone.


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