The conservative-leaning Wisconsin Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down Democrat Governor Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate in a 4-3 ruling.
The state supreme court ruled that Evers violated the law by unilaterally issuing multiple emergency orders and circumventing the state legislature.
“The question in this case is not whether the governor acted wisely; it is whether he acted lawfully. We conclude he did not,” Justice Brian Hagedorn wrote for the majority.
Evers fought very hard to keep the mask mandate in place and ignored the will of the legislature, the body closest to the people that voted to repeal the mask mandate.
Governor Evers issued an emergency 60-day order in August of 2020 and continued to extend his unlawful mandates.
Last month Evers issued a new statewide mask mandate one hour after GOP state lawmakers voted to repeal the previous mask mandate.
The GOP-led Wisconsin senate last month voted 18-13 to repeal Evers’ statewide mask mandate.
The joint resolution to end Evers’ emergency order passed the Republican-controlled legislature in late February in a 52-42 vote.
Wednesday’s ruling was a huge victory for Wisconsin Republicans who spent months fighting Evers’ lockdowns and mask mandates.
“The governor’s repeated abuse of emergency powers and pervasive violation of state statute created a state of chaos and had to be stopped,” Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said.
Mask mandates in Dane and Milwaukee County remain in place.