Wisconsin Republicans sue governor over stay-at-home order

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican leaders of the Wisconsin Legislature are asking the Conservative-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court to block an order from Gov. Tony Evers’ administration extending a stay-at-home order until May 26.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald asked the Supreme Court to take the case directly, a move that would skip lower courts and get a final ruling sooner. Last week, Gov. Evers announced that he was directing state Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm to extend the order closing most nonessential businesses from April 24 to May 26.

According to WFRV Local 5 affiliate, WISC, the state Supreme Court announced Tuesday afternoon that DHS officials have until 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28, to file a response to the Legislature’s petition and motion.

The GOP’s legal team critical of the wording in the Safer at Home extension and Badger Bounce Back plan in the petition to the court, according to WISC, despite the wording in Badger Bounce Back being nearly identical to White House guidelines.

“The public outcry over the Safer at Home order continues to increase as positive COVID cases decrease or remain flat. There’s immense frustration regarding the extension, as it goes beyond the executive branch’s statutory powers,” Vos and Fitzgerald said in a joint statement. “Wisconsinites are forced to sit by with no voice in the process. Other Midwestern states with more confirmed cases, like Ohio, have set firm dates to begin a phased reopening far earlier than the Evers administration.”

Evers responded to the lawsuit in a call with reporters, calling the move a “political power grab.”

Sec. Palm and DHS have yet to issue a public statement regarding the lawsuit.

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