Conservative firm asks Wisconsin Supreme Court to block latest Dane Co. mask mandate

MADISON, Wis. — The conservative law firm that has challenged many emergency orders during the coronavirus pandemic is issuing another one, this time claiming Dane County does not have the authority to issue its latest mask mandate.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) is asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to block the mandate, which is scheduled to go into effect on Thursday and last until September 16th.

WILL claims another recent court decision — James v. Heinrich — means Public Health Madison & Dane County director Janel Heinrich does not have the power to put the mandate into place. In the previous case, the Court ruled Heinrich did not have the power to close all schools in the county in the fall of 2020.

WILL is asking the Supreme Court for an injunction to block the latest mask mandate while it reviews Heinrich’s ability to put those mandates into place.

In a statement to News 3 Now, PHMDC said, “We are confident that our Face Covering Order is legal under the statute. We will not comment further on pending litigation.”

RELATED: Dane County issues indoor mask mandate effective Thursday

You can see WILL’s full petition to the court here, and embedded below.

The firm has challenged many state and local COVID regulations, arguing in most cases that state law does not permit those wide-ranging powers.

WILL was one of many groups to challenge Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate, which was eventually struck down by the state’s Supreme Court.

The group also challenged Dane County’s gathering limits during the pandemic, and sought an injunction in Dane County court to get those emergency orders thrown out that was denied in May.