GLLF filed an amicus brief and supporting appendix in Wisconsin Legislature v. Palm with the Wisconsin Supreme Court on behalf of Wisconsin Manufactures & Commerce and Wisconsin Dairy Alliance supporting the Legislature in the case relating to agency authorities during the corona-virus challenge.
This case touches on two important issues relating to administrative agencies: Act 21’s explicit authority requirements and rulemaking.
- Agencies Have Only that Authority Explicitly Delegated to Them by the Legislature. Under Wisconsin law, administrative agencies are constrained to the four corners of their explicit statutory authorities. DHS’s emergency orders exceeded their explicit statutory authority and under DHS’s claims gave an agency more authority than the governor in times of emergency.
- Agencies Must Go Through Rulemaking–Even In Times of Emergency. Administrative agencies’ regulations often have the same force of law as a statute passed by the legislature. To check that power, the legislature requires agencies to go through formal rulemaking when their regulations have force of law. The legislature recognized that in times of emergency, rulemaking might be too cumbersome, so it created emergency rulemaking procedure. So, even amidst a pandemic like COVID-19, agencies must follow the proper procedure to use their authority.