GYMFINITY V. DANE COUNTY
Case Name: Gymfinity v. Dane County
Type of Case: Individual liberties, non-delegation
Court: Original Action to the Wisconsin Supreme Court
Filed On: November 23, 2020
Current Status: The court denied our original action petition by a narrow, 4-3 vote
On November 17, one week before Thanksgiving, the Dane County Health Department issued a new health order that, among other things, banned all indoor gatherings, even in private homes, and banned all indoor sports-related activities, effectively shutting down many such businesses. This order was enabled by certain Dane County and Madison ordinances that unlawfully delegate near limitless law-making authority to the health department, authority that, we argue, can only be exercised by the Dane County Board and Madison City Council. On behalf of a gymnastics gymnasium and two Dane County residents, we filed an original action in the Wisconsin Supreme Court, asking the Court to enjoin the most egregious portions of the Order and to hold that the underlying ordinances violate the non-delegation doctrine.
Before the Court ruled, Dane County issue a new order that abandoned the indoor gathering and indoor sports bans. Shortly thereafter, the Court denied our original action petition by a narrow, 4-3 vote. Three justices (Roggensack, Ziegler, Bradley) would have granted the case and strongly indicated the Dane County order went too far. In a concurrence to the denial, Justice Hagedorn explained that the case presented “important statutory and constitutional questions that deserve judicial scrutiny,” but, in his view, the case should begin in circuit court.