Judge rules in favor of Gov. Evers in face mask case | WisCommunity

Judge rules in favor of Gov. Evers in face mask case

October 12, 2020 - 10:30am
Governor Evers
Governor Evers

A Wisconsin judge has ruled in favor of Governor Evers in a lawsuit brought by state Republicans and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty. The case attempted to stop the governor from issuing an order requiring the wearing of face masks, and, more extensively, the ability of the governor to issue health orders in an emergency.

St. Croix County Judge R. Michael Waterman ruled on Monday morning denied the request by WILL which was backed by Republican legislators to stop the governor from issuing multiple emergency health orders during a single health emergency. 

This win on the part of the governor assures that the current health order will remain in force for the time being and should also allow the governor's office to issue further orders if necessary.  "Plaintiffs in this case don’t ask to preserve the status quo; they ask to change it," Waterman wrote. He also pointed out that "The legislature can end the state of emergency at anytime, but so far, it has declined to do so ..."

The judge wrote further:

The plaintiffs’ right to relief is not clear. Although the plaintiffs agree that COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency, they believe that the governor may not issue successive executive orders for the same emergency without violating the 60-day limit of section 323.10. To reach that conclusion, the governor argues, one must deviate from the language of the statute and find meaning that is not expressed by the text. 

Late this morning Governor Evers responded to the ruling:

“Today’s ruling is a victory in our fight against COVID-19 and our efforts to keep the people of Wisconsin safe and healthy during this unprecedented crisis,” said Gov. Evers. “As the number of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin reached 150,000 yesterday, we will continue doing everything we can to prevent the spread of this virus. We ask Wisconsinites to please stay home as much as possible, limit travel and going to public gatherings, and wear a mask whenever out and about.”

The court ruling is attached below.

Attached Document

Steve Hanson
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