State Supreme Court rejects COVID-19 restrictions challenge

The Wisconsin Supreme Court chamber

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Supreme Court has turned away a challenge of Dane County’s ban of indoor gatherings in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

In a 4-3 vote Tuesday, the high court rejected the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty’s request that it bypass lower courts and take up its case. The county has since relaxed restrictions on all private gatherings indoors, including sports activities and those in private homes.

In his majority opinion, Justice Brian Hagedorn emphasized the Supreme Court isn’t designed to take up cases in the first instance, a job meant for circuit courts.

The lawsuit contended the county and the city of Madison unlawfully handed over their lawmaking authority to the city-county health department.