The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down the Democrat Governor Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate, ruling that the governor has exceeded his authority when issuing the order.
The ruling comes after Evers had reissued a mandate immediately after Republicans in the legislature voted to repeal it.
The court ruled that any public health emergency issued by the Governor is only valid for 60 days and cannot be extended without legislation.
“The question in this case is not whether the governor acted wisely; it is whether he acted lawfully. We conclude he did not,” said Justice Brian Hagedorn.
Evers had suggested that he can issue multiple emergencies due to the changing nature of the pandemic. The order took in effect in August and he had extended it four times since then.
Local governments will be able to enact their own mask mandates. Mask mandates are currently in place in Milwaukee and in Dane County, which hosts Madison.
The case challenging the mandate was brought by Jere Fabick, a major Wisconsin Republican donor who has given $350,000 to candidates since 1994.