The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled against Gov. Tony Evers' (D) stay-at-home order, saying he doesn't have the authority to act without consulting the state legislature. The court ruled 4-3, meaning the Republican-led legislature, the Democratic governor and state health care officials must come together to determine how the state will reopen and on what timeline.
Republicans had asked the court for a six-day window to keep the order in place after the ruling to allow for negotiations, but the court didn't allow it.
"People, businesses and other institutions No. 2020AP765-OA 31 need to know how to proceed and what is expected of them. Therefore, we place the responsibility for this future law-making with the Legislature and DHS where it belongs." the ruling says.
Republican legislators filed the lawsuit directly with the conservative-controlled Supreme Court last month, challenging the extension of the stay-at-home until May 26.
They argued that the order is really an administrative rule, and that Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm should have submitted it to the Legislature for approval before issuing it.
The state's Lt. Gov., Mandela Barnes (D), took to Twitter to chide the court for their decision.
Disappointed but not surprised. They put lives at risk by forcing an election, of course they were going to double down. It’s like no lives matter. This is bad. https://t.co/URZJ5MJRPD— Mandela Barnes (@TheOtherMandela) May 13, 2020
We’re still going to do everything we can to keep people safe. Major credit is due to the many local and tribal governments who recognized the urgency and responded appropriately. The people you represent need your leadership now more than ever.— Mandela Barnes (@TheOtherMandela) May 13, 2020
Those who claimed the governor overstepped, what do they make of a wholly aligned legislature and judiciary? Effectively there have been two branches of government in Wisconsin, weighted 2-1.— Mandela Barnes (@TheOtherMandela) May 13, 2020
Wisconsin's stay-at-home order was originally set to expire on April 24th. It was extended until May 26th.
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