The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that Democratic Governor Tony Evers overstepped his authority, and subsequently struck down his “safer at home order.”
Republican lawmakers brought the case to court after the state extended its lockdown order through the end of May.
The stay-at-home order was supposed to end on April 24, but Department of Human Services Secretary Andrea Palm, appointed by Evers, extended the order through May 26.
This didn’t sit well with the GOP lawmakers, and here’s the result:
The court ruled four to three in a case brought forth by Republican lawmakers that sought to block the order issued last month by Evers’ top health secretary, Andrea Palm.
All future lockdown orders must go through the legislature, the ruling said.
Why It’s Important:
This is a critical issue during the current crisis — how much power do state governors have, and which rules must require approval by a legislature?
In this case, Republicans argued that extending the lockdown qualified as “administrative rule,” which does require legislative approval.
On the flip side, the Evers administration said the law gives the executive branch “broad authority” to implement emergency measures during health crises.
The Supreme Court judge, however, ultimately sided with Republicans on this matter.
Chief Justice Patience Roggensack said the stay-at-home extension is an emergency rule, and the Evers administration can’t enact it alone.
Rule-making exists precisely to ensure that kind of controlling, subjective judgement asserted by one unelected official, Palm, is not imposed in Wisconsin.
In the eyes of many conservatives, this is a significant victory.
The push-and-pull between authorities and the basic rights of citizens continues, and we might see similar cases in other state courts.
Here’s what Justice Rebecca Bradley said last week during oral arguments:
I think there is a problem with the legislature giving away this much power to an un-elected cabinet secretary.
The people never consented to a single individual having that kind of power.
- The Wisconsin Supreme Court strikes down Governor Tony Evers’ “safer-at-home” order extension.
- The judge ruled that the order constituted an emergency rule, and requires legislative approval.
- This close 4-3 decision represents the continued battle between elected officials and citizens concerned about their rights.
Source: Fox News