In a 4-3 decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the Gov. Tony Evers’ administration’s stay-at-home order.
The ruling “essentially reopens the state, lifting caps on the size of gatherings, allowing people to travel as they please and allowing shuttered businesses to reopen, including bars and restaurants,” the Associated Press reported.
Health secretary Andrea Palm had issued the order, and the court found she didn’t have the authority to do so.
“Rule-making exists precisely to ensure that kind of controlling, subjective judgement asserted by one unelected official, Palm, is not imposed in Wisconsin,” Chief Justice Patience Roggensack wrote in the majority opinion.
Former Gov. Scott Walker praised the court’s decision in a statement to Breitbart News.
“The Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the law,” he said.
“The rule of law must be upheld – even in emergencies. I am honored to have appointed two of the Justices in the majority on the 4 – 3 decision.”
The decision allows schools to remain closed, and local governments can create their own restrictions.
Dane County, home of liberal Madison, was quick to do just that.
Public Health Officer Janel Heinrich took Evers’ orders limiting gatherings and enacted them at the local level.
Evers, meanwhile, “reacted angrily” to the ruling, according to the AP.
“Today, Republican legislators convinced four members of the state Supreme Court to throw the state into chaos,” Evers said.
“They have provided no plan. There’s no question among anybody that people are going to get sick. Republicans own that chaos.”
He added, “In the meantime, we’re going to have 72 counties doing their own thing.”
“I can’t believe there’s a state in the nation with this type of chaos.”
Walker called for the state to reopen nearly three weeks ago during an interview with Breitbart News.
“I get the fear that people hav, but there’s also a lot of frustration. People don’t know what to believe, what the facts are. It keeps changing all the time,” he said in late April.
Walker said he believes it’s time to reopen the state and he has encouraged businesses to come up with a plan to “safely” reopen.
“Not as a requirement of government, but I think to get employees back” is going to be a challenge, he said.
“I think this is one of those where the private sector, in many cases, knows better,” Walker said, adding if workers and customers don’t feel safe, “it doesn’t matter what date you say you’re going to reopen, it’s not going to happen.”
“Let’s stop suspending common sense,” he said.