The Wisconsin Supreme Court has truck down Democrat Governor’s Tony Evers’ order to stay home in a 4-3 decision.
BREAKING: Wisconsin Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Tony Evers' order to stay home in a 4-3 decision.
— Molly Beck (@MollyBeck) May 13, 2020
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the Wisconsin Supreme Court has struck down Gov. Tony Evers order shutting down daily life to limit the spread of coronavirus — marking the first time a statewide order of its kind has been knocked down by a court of last resort.
The state’s highest court sided with Republican lawmakers Wednesday in a decision that curbed Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ power to act unilaterally during public health emergencies.
The 4-3 decision was written by four of the court’s conservatives — Chief Justice Patience Roggensack and Justices Rebecca Bradley, Daniel Kelly and Annette Ziegler.
The court’s fifth conservative, Brian Hagedorn, wrote a dissent joined by the court’s two liberals, Ann Walsh Bradley and Rebecca Dallet.
The ruling immediately threw out the administration’s tool to control a disease for which there is no vaccine. It came after Evers had already begun lifting some restrictions because the spread of the virus has slowed for now.
Republicans who brought the lawsuit had asked the justices to side with them but to stay their ruling for about a week so legislators and Evers could work out a new plan to deal with the pandemic. The justices declined to do that and had their ruling take effect immediately.
To put any limits in place, the Democratic governor and Republican-controlled Legislature will be forced to work together to deal with the ebbs and flows of the outbreak — something the two sides have rarely been able to achieve before.
With no COVID-19 policies in place, bars, restaurants and concert halls are allowed to reopen — unless local officials implement their own restrictions. That raises the prospect of a patchwork of policies, with rules varying significantly from one county to the next.
The court issued the decision a month after Kelly lost his seat on the court. He will be replaced in August by Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky, a liberal who beat him by 10 points in the April 7 election.