A motion filed in a lawsuit in Polk County could bring an immediate halt to the enforcement of Governor Tony Evers’ July 30 Covid-19 emergency order, and by extension the statewide mask mandate.
The motion for an immediate injunction was filed by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty. On August 25, WILL filed a lawsuit on behalf of three taxpayers alleging Evers violated state law by declaring a second public health emergency to combat the Covid-19 virus.
Last week, Evers announced an extension of the July 30 Covid-19 emergency order until November 21. According to WILL, the declaration of a third COVID-19 emergency was a continuation of the earlier emergencies and represents “a gross abuse of power” by Evers.
“This motion for an immediate injunction is a recognition that the executive branch in Wisconsin is, thus far, completely undeterred by the constraints of state law and must be reined in,” said Rick Esenberg, President and General Counsel for WILL, in a statement on Tuesday.
The motion will be heard by St. Croix Circuit Court Judge R. Michael Waterman on October 5, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. Both Polk County judges recused themselves from the case.
The Republican-controlled legislature could overturn the executive order by passing a joint resolution. However, Assembly Republicans under Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) have been reluctant to require their members to take such a controversial vote this close to Election Day.