The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down the state’s stay-at-home order during the coronavirus pandemic as “unlawful, invalid and unenforceable” after finding the state’s health commissioner exceeded her authority. In a 4-3 ruling, the court called State Department of Health head Andrea Palm’s directive, known as Emergency Order 28, a “vast seizure of power.”
The order directed all individuals present within the state of Wisconsin to stay at home or at their place of residence, subject only to exceptions allowed by Palm, the ruling says. The order, which was set to run until May 26, also put in place travel restrictions and business restrictions, along with threats of jail time or fines for those who don’t comply.
The decision comes as a result of the legislature suing the health department, charging Palm’s directives were an overreach and asking the court to grant relief that gives the legislature a “seat at the table” in the rule-making process.
There have been almost 11,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin and 421 deaths.