Breaking News: Wisconsin Supreme Court Temporarily Reopens Dane County Schools

September 11, 2020

The Wisconsin Supreme Court yesterday temporarily suspended the Dane County public health department’s Emergency Order #9, which closed down all in-person education from grades 3-12. MacIver’s analysis of the order shutting down schools found that the order actually makes a strong case that Dane County children would be safe to return to in-person classes. Find the analysis here.

With the suspension of the order by the Supreme Court, all K-12 schools in Dane County may now reopen for in-person classes while the Court deliberates on the case.

Plaintiffs from St. Ambrose Academy, a Dane County Catholic private school, were among three groups who brought Emergency Order #9 to the Court. “St. Ambrose Academy views Dane County’s recent closure of county schools as an impermissible infringement of religious liberty on our right as parents to provide a Catholic education for our children,” said St. Ambrose Executive Director Joan Carey. Click here to listen to MacIver’s podcast with Angela Hineline of St. Ambrose Academy, where she discusses the impact the order had on learning, the disruption it caused for the children and their decision to bring the lawsuit.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty’s President and General Counsel Rick Esenberg, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs, said “We are heartened that the Court concluded that our argument is likely to succeed on the merits and, for now, barred the closing of private schools.”

The Wisconsin Supreme Court yesterday also put a pause on mailing absentee ballots in Wisconsin while the Court determines whether the Green Party presidential candidate will be allowed on the November ballot. If the court rules to allow the Green Party candidate to participate, 2.3 million ballots would have to be edited and reprinted. An estimated 378,000 ballots that have already been mailed would also need to be reprinted and be sent again. 

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