Conservative law firm asks state Supreme Court to strike down Wisconsin mask mandate

Coronavirus

MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – A Conservative law firm is asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to take over a case challenging the statewide mask mandate.

Affiliate WISC reports the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, or WILL, asked the state’s highest court on Thursday to take over a case challenging the statewide mask mandate, which remains in effect until November.

Earlier this month, a St. Croix County judge ruled against WILL when the firm brought the same challenge to the circuit court.

In his decision, Judge R. Michael Waterman said, “When an executive order ends after 60 days, it forces the governor, before issuing another order, to reexamine the situation and publicly identify existing, present-day facts and circumstances that constitute a public health emergency.”

Since Oct. 1, Wisconsin has added over 64,000 cases of COVID-19 and nearly 400 virus-related deaths.

WISC reports WILL is arguing on behalf of private citizens that Governor Tony Evers exceeded his authority in issuing multiple public health emergencies for an ongoing pandemic. The firm asks the state Supreme Court to take over the case and combine it with another challenge in front of the court, brought by the same person who successfully challenged the state’s Safer at Home order earlier this year.

Evers’ legal team, the state Department of Justice, filed a response to one lawsuit on Thursday, according to WISC, saying:

“When our Legislature first codified a Governor’s emergency powers in the 1950s, it did so to empower the Governor to protect the state during wartime. And significantly, it crafted our statute to enable the Governor to respond to a particular act of war, not to offer only one response per war.”

The DOJ said the way the people who filed the lawsuit read the law would “remove an entire category of catastrophic events from the statutes—including floodwaters that swell with new rainfall, fires that pick up with a change of wind, or a new wave of a potentially lethal virus.”

WFRV Local 5 contributed to this story.

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