Wisconsin governor sued over second public health emergency declaration

Coronavirus

This image taken from video by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services shows Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Madison, Wis. Evers issued a statewide mask mandate amid a spike in coronavirus cases. (Wisconsin Department of Health Services via the AP)

(WFRV) – Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has been sued over the public health emergency he declared in July.

The lawsuit was filed in Polk County court on behalf of three residents by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty.

According to the filing, WILL argues Gov. Evers couldn’t unilaterally declare a second public health emergency for the same pandemic.

In March, Gov. Evers declared a public health emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The move freed up resources to respond to the virus that had been confirmed in five Wisconsinites at the time.

In July, Gov. Evers declared a second public health emergency along with a statewide mask mandate. The latest public health emergency went into effect on August 1 and is slated to run until September 28.

Two Polk County residents and one in St. Croix County filed the lawsuit, according to the Associated Press.

WILL President and General Counsel Rick Esenberg said, “This lawsuit is not about whether masks are good or bad, or whether Wisconsin ought to do more, or less, to address COVID-19. It isn’t even about whether the state should have a mask mandate. This lawsuit is about our system of government and the rule of law. Governor Evers cannot seize these time-limited emergency powers more than once without legislative approval.”

As of August 24, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services has confirmed over 70,000 positive cases of COVID-19 and over 1,000 deaths.

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