Wisconsin Judge Blocks Governor Evers Latest Emergency Order
A Madison judge has blocked the most-recent emergency order directed by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers. The action on Tuesday threw out Evers limits on the size of indoor gatherings, following a lawsuit that was filed by the Tavern League of Wisconsin. News sources are reporting that Judge John Yackel has issued a restraining order against the action.
Evers latest emergency order limited the size of indoor gatherings at bars and restaurants to 25% of capacity. In documents filed by the Tavern League of Wisconsin, President Chris Marsicano claimed that the order as a "defacto closure", which unfairly targets their industry. Marsicano said "[r][estaurants, taverns, bars, and supper clubs did not cause this pandemic, but they are systematically facing bankruptcy, closure, and economic ruin". The league also suggests that Evers did not go through the proper legal channels in issuing his decree:
"The lawsuit asserts that Emergency Order #3 is invalid and unenforceable because it was not promulgated as an administrative rule as required by the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling just five months ago in Wisconsin Legislature v Palm."
In issuing the restraining order, Judge Yackel is requiring DHS Secretary Andrea Palm to defend the emergency order; court documents show that Palm is expected to appear personally in court on Monday, October 19. Meanwhile, the Evers administration continues to ask Wisconsin residents to do their part in controlling the spread of COVID-19.
This isn't the first time that one of Evers emergency orders has been thrown out of court. Earlier this year, the courts ruled his initial emergency order as unconstitutional and rolled the regulation back.