Dane County and Madison will be stepping up to defend their health department in a lawsuit against health orders.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty wants the State Supreme Court to directly strike down an order restricting indoor gatherings in Dane County.
WILL President and General Counsel Rick Esenberg says the new order is invalid because the county board and city council did not vote on it. “The latest order from the health department in Dane County illustrates why a single, unelected and unaccountable health official should not be allowed to rule unilaterally by decree.”
“Banning private family gatherings just before Thanksgiving, while allowing Black Friday shopping, makes little sense.”
WILL is skipping Dane County Circuit Court entirely and asking the State Supreme Court to rule immediately on the lawsuit.
Dane County executive Joe Parisi says that Public Health Madison-Dane County has the authority to issue orders. “Our legal team is confident that we have the authority that’s been utilized by the city and the county and by the public health department and we will defend it vigorously in court.”
Parisi says this is just another effort to undermine health orders that are desperately needed to protect the public from COVID-19. “What they are attempting to do right now is to strike down the entire order and our ability to use the tools at our disposal to try to protect our community.”
“Let’s take a 30 day time out, let us get through two incubation cycles of the virus, and this could have a tangible impact on the spread, and provide some much-needed relief to our hospital system.”
Parisi says the city and the county will be defending the order vigorously in court.