Oral argument in Wisconsin Legislature v. Palm to be livestreamed May 5

Madison, Wisconsin - May 4, 2020

The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hold oral argument in Wisconsin Legislature v. Andrea Palm, 20AP765-OA, on Tuesday, May 5 beginning at 10 a.m.

Argument will be conducted with all participants making appearances via Zoom and carried live on the Court’s YouTube streaming channel and on the WisconsinEye Public Affairs Network.

On April 21, 2020, the Wisconsin Legislature submitted an emergency petition for original action, asking the Court to exercise its original jurisdiction (i.e., without any proceedings in a lower court) to decide certain issues regarding the issuance of Emergency Order No. 28 concerning the COVID-19 pandemic (the extension of the “Safer at Home” order) by the Secretary-designee of the Department of Health Services (DHS), Andrea Palm.

On May 1, the Court voted to accept jurisdiction over the case and agreed to hear argument on the following issues, which were set forth in the Legislature’s petition:

  1. Whether the DHS violated Wis. Stat. § 227.24, governing emergency rules, by issuing Emergency Order No. 28 without complying with § 227.24's procedures; and
  2. Even if DHS did not violate § 227.24, whether Emergency Order No. 28 exceeds the Department's authority by closing all "nonessential" businesses, ordering all Wisconsin persons to stay at home, and forbidding all "nonessential" travel.

Links to amicus briefs filed in this case can be found on the Wisconsin Supreme Court and Court of Appeals (WSCCA) access website. To access briefs from the search page, enter the case number and click on "Case History." A copy of the Emergency Petition for Original Action can be found here.

Oral arguments before Wisconsin Supreme Court have been streamed live from the Supreme Court Hearing Room on WisconsinEye for a number of years. The Court began taking advantage of livestreaming appearances last month, when it heard nine cases via the Zoom online videoconferencing service.

The Supreme Court is one of a number of state supreme courts across the country and among courts in Wisconsin taking advantage of livestreaming technology to help keep cases moving and courts accessible to parties and the public during the pandemic.

A list of Wisconsin circuit courts that have established livestream accounts can be found on wicourts.gov, under the "live stream courts" tab at the top of the page. The Wisconsin Supreme Court's YouTube channel, which provides a feed from Zoom, can be found here. The Hearing Room at the state Capitol is currently closed to the public.

Tom Sheehan
Court Information Officer
(608) 261-6640

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