ARLINGTON, Va.—Today, the Institute for Justice (IJ) filed a petition asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to review an appellate ruling that has allowed the government to enforce a ban on the sale of certain homemade foods while the case proceeds on appeal. In December 2022, the Lafayette County Circuit Court struck down as unconstitutional a state ban on the sale of homemade shelf-stable foods like fudge, dried herbs, Rice Krispies treats, and roasted coffee beans. In February 2023, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection filed an appeal to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals asking it to review the Circuit Court’s decision. That appeal is still pending.
While filing its appeal, the government asked the courts to allow it to continue enforcing the ban the circuit court ruled unconstitutional. Although the circuit court denied that request, the appellate court agreed to stay the order, allowing the government to enforce the ban while the case proceeds on appeal. The petition that IJ filed today asks the Wisconsin Supreme Court to review that decision.
“For five months, Wisconsinites could sell foods like homemade fudge around the neighborhood without fear that it would land them in prison,” said IJ Attorney Suranjan Sen. “It was wrong for the Court of Appeals to take that away from them, and we are confident that the Wisconsin Supreme Court will agree.”