OnFocus – The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that Gov. Tony Evers exceeded his power as governor when giving the mask mandate and has struck down the order.
This is the latest legal battle in a back-and-forth affair between Evers and the Supreme Court to keep or remove the mask mandate. The decision was reached as a 4-3 verdict on Wednesday to remove the mandate once again.
Evers said the reason behind the mandates was purely to try to protect people and said the battle with COVID-19 continues.
“Since the beginning of this pandemic, I’ve worked to keep Wisconsinites healthy and safe, and I’ve trusted the science and public health experts to guide our decision making,” Evers said. “Our fight against COVID-19 isn’t over—while we work to get folks vaccinated as quickly as we can, we know wearing a mask saves lives, and we still need Wisconsinites to mask up so we can beat this virus and bounce back from this pandemic.”
Last May, the court removed Evers’ “safer at home” order and in October, Evers’ effort to reduce the amount of people in indoor places was also struck down by the court.
“The question in this case is not whether the governor acted wisely; it is whether he acted lawfully. We conclude he did not,” majority member Justice Brian Hagedorn said.
The court ruled that a public health emergency cannot last for more than 60 days and cannot be extended without the approval of legislators. Evers has extended the mask mandate multiple times throughout the pandemic.
Many groups opposed the removal of the mandate including hospitals, businesses, pharmacies and more. The current mandate was scheduled to end April 5.
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