Wisconsin Examiner: Public health officials welcome approval of authority in recent Wisconsin Supreme Court decision.
In a 4-3 ruling that was published Friday, July 8, a majority of justices concluded that state law gives local health officers the power to issue public health orders. The ruling also upheld a Dane County ordinance imposing penalties for disobeying the health director’s orders, and it found that neither the state law nor the ordinance violated the Wisconsin Constitution.
“Preserving the authority of local public health officials to be able to control communicable disease is a top priority for Wisconsin public health professionals,” says Dr. Geof Swain, president of the Wisconsin Public Health Association. “We were very pleased that authority was preserved in this ruling.”
At the same time, a forceful dissent by three of the court’s four conservative justices suggests the likelihood of future legal wrangling.
Reuters: President Biden picks up pace on judicial nominees.
NBC: Texas sues Biden administration over federal abortion rules.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, in a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, argued that federal law does not confer a right to an abortion.
The lawsuit comes three days after Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra warned hospitals and physicians that they are required to provide abortions in medical emergencies where it is necessary treatment to protect the life of a pregnant woman. Becerra said hospitals and physicians who refuse to comply could have their Medicare provider agreements terminated and face financial penalties.
Cato Institute: Did Trump lie about reason for Muslim ban?
In a 5–4 decision, the Court’s majority found that the ban was based not on Trump’s open animus against Muslims, but instead on a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report that supposedly detailed national security concerns. But the majority simply accepted this report as legitimate without ever seeing it. Indeed, DHS has allowed no one outside the Executive branch to see it.
After President Biden rescinded the ban—which he called “discriminatory”--(David J. Bier) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on behalf of the Cato Institute for the DHS report. DHS ignored it, so now Cato is suing. It will be the first time Biden’s DHS will have to either justify keeping the report a secret from the public or else release it. Even if DHS refuses to release the report, the court can order it to do so.
Rolling Stone: Indiana's Republican attorney general now investigating doctor who provided abortion for 10-year-old rape victim.
Help WJI advocate for justice in Wisconsin