State Supreme Court Strikes Down Wisconsin’s Stay-At-Home Order

( Wisconsin’s stay-at-home order was ruled “unlawful” and “unenforceable” by the state’s Supreme Court Wednesday.
The court, in a 4-3 decision ruled that Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, overstepped his authority when the executive order was extended through May 26 by the state’s Department of Health Services.
Last month, Republican leaders in the state Legislature filed a lawsuit that argued the extension of the original stay-at-home order would hurt many businesses in Wisconsin and cause many residents to lose their job. If the order was allowed to stand, they argued, “our state will be in shambles.”
The lawsuit was filed against Andrea Palm, the secretary-designee of the DHS, as well as other health officials in the state who decided in mid-April to extend Wisconsin’s “Safer at Home” emergency order. When the decision was made, the state did loosen some of their restrictions, allowing certain businesses and public libraries to open.
In the decision, the Supreme Court justices wrote:
“An agency cannot confer on itself the power to dictate the lives of law-abiding individuals as comprehensively as the order does without reaching beyond the executive branch’s authority.”
Evers was not happy with the decision and said the ruling “puts our state into chaos.” He said:
“Now we have no plan and no protections for the people of Wisconsin. When you have more people in a small space — I don’t care if it’s bars, restaurants or your home — you’re going to be able to spread the virus. And so now, today, thanks to the Republican legislators who convinced four Supreme Court justices to not look at the law but look at their political careers I guess — it’s a bad day for Wisconsin.
“It’s the wild west.”
Later Wednesday night, Evers released a separate statement encouraging Wisconsin residents “to stay safer at home, practice social distancing and limit travel, because folks, deadly viruses don’t wait around for politicians and bureaucrats to settle their differences or promulgate rules.”
At the time they filed their lawsuit, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said in a joint statement there’s “immense frustration regarding the extension.” They also said Wisconsin’s governor “has denied the people a voice through this unprecedented administrative overreach.
“Unfortunately, that leaves the legislature no choice but to ask the Supreme Court to rein in this obvious abuse of power. Wisconsinites deserve certainty, transparency and a plan to end the constant stream of executive orders that are eroding both the economy and their liberty, even as the state is clearly seeing a decline in COVID infections.”
Democrats led by Evers have argued that things “will only get worse if we end Safer at Home before it’s safe to.”
When the lawsuit was filed, Evers tweeted his thoughts:
“Republicans are exploiting a global pandemic to further their attempts to undermine the will of the people. But what’s at stake goes far beyond political power — lives are on the line.
“This isn’t a game. This isn’t funny. People die every day because of this virus — often times painful and lonely deaths — and the more we delay or pla political games the more people die.”