Wisconsin Supreme Court Strikes Down Governor’s Lockdown Order, Opens Entire State Immediately…

In Coronavirus Hoax Economic Devastation, Coronavirus Legal Issues, Coronavirus Lockdown, Featured by Jeffrey Lee PierceLeave a Comment

…except churChes and schools, they still have to remain closed for now.

MADISON – Millwauke Journal Sentinel – https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2020/05/13/wisconsin-supreme-court-strikes-down-tony-evers-coronavirus-orders/5179205002/

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 the power of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ administration 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 lifts all restrictions on businesses and gatherings imposed by the administration’s order but keeps in place the closure of schools until fall. It comes after Evers had already begun lifting some restrictions because the spread of the virus has slowed for now.

“Republican legislators convinced four members of the Supreme Court to throw the state into chaos,” Evers told reporters Wednesday evening. “Republicans own that chaos.”

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 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 the power of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ administration 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 lifts all restrictions on businesses and gatherings imposed by the administration’s order but keeps in place the closure of schools until fall. It comes after Evers had already begun lifting some restrictions because the spread of the virus has slowed for now.

The justices declined to do that and had their ruling take effect immediately.

To put any new 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.

The Evers administration will submit a new plan Thursday, even though Republicans had asked them to do so sooner. Republicans have yet to offer one of their own.

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.

Less than an hour after the ruling was released, the Tavern League of Wisconsin told its members they could greet customers again in their bars and urged them to adopt safety guidelines.

GOP lawmakers who brought the lawsuit have said the legal challenge was necessary to get a seat at the table where Evers and state health officials make decisions about how to respond to the outbreak, which has killed ony 418 people in the state in two months.

In the majority opinion, Roggensack determined Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm should have issued regulations through a process known as rulemaking, which gives lawmakers veto power over agency policies.

Without legislative review, “an unelected official could create law applicable to all people during the course of COVID-19 and subject people to imprisonment when they disobeyed her order,” the majority wrote.

Other justices saw it differently.

“This decision will undoubtedly go down as one of the most blatant examples of judicial activism in this court’s history. And it will be Wisconsinites who pay the price,” Dallet wrote in one dissent.

At the heart of the lawsuit was a state law governing communicable diseases that says the Department of Health Services “may close schools and forbid public gatherings in schools, churches, and other places to control outbreaks and epidemics,” and gives it the power to “authorize and implement all emergency measures necessary to control communicable diseases.”

But the majority found Palm also had to follow another state law that requires regulations to be submitted to a legislative committee that can block them.

ustice Rebecca Bradley criticized Hagedorn, typically one of her allies, writing that his argument “contains no constitutional analysis whatsoever, affirmatively rejects the constitution, and subjugates liberty.”

The majority concluded Evers has broader powers during emergencies but stressed that those powers have limits.

“If a forest fire breaks out, there is no time for debate. Action is needed. The governor could declare an emergency and respond accordingly. But in the case of a pandemic, which lasts month after month, the governor cannot rely on emergency powers indefinitely,” Roggensack wrote for the majority.

While much of the state can now open up, the court system overseen by the justices will not for the time being. They have suspended jury trials and in-person court hearings because of the dangers of COVID-19 and they held arguments over the stay-at-home order virtually to make sure they stayed away from others.