WI Supreme Court strikes down mask mandate | Portage Area Chamber of Commerce
 

WI Supreme Court strikes down mask mandate

From Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce
State Supreme Court Strikes Down Gov. Evers’ Continuous Emergency Orders

In a 4-3 decision on Wednesday (March 31), the Wisconsin Supreme Court determined that Gov. Tony Evers exceeded his authority by issuing multiple Emergency Orders in a row related to the same issue.

Writing for the majority, Justice Brian Hagedorn cited statutes when he wrote that “no state of emergency may last longer than 60 days unless it ‘is extended by joint resolution of the legislature,’ and that the legislature may cut short a state of emergency by joint resolution. The statute contemplates that the power to end and to refuse to extend a state of emergency resides with the legislature even when the underlying occurrence creating the emergency remains a threat. Pursuant to this straightforward statutory language, the governor may not deploy his emergency powers by issuing new states of emergency for the same statutory occurrence.”

Justice Hagedorn explained that Gov. Evers’ actions were unlawful.

Following the decision, the current emergency order that was in effect and the subsequent statewide mask mandate are no longer valid.

It is important to note, however, that while the statewide orders no longer apply, many local governments have issued COVID-19 regulations and mask mandates of their own. The court’s decision also does not in anyway bar a private business from enacting their own requirements for employees or customers.

 

Brad Conrad
graphics@portagewi.com