The Wisconsin Supreme Court has struck down Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate as a coronavirus health-safety measure.
In a 4-3 vote on Wednesday, the court decided Evers had violated state law by unilaterally issuing emergency orders to enforce the mandates without legislative approval, according to the Associated Press.
“The question in this case is not whether the governor acted wisely; it is whether he acted lawfully. We conclude he did not,” Justice Brian Hagedorn wrote for the majority, the wire service also reports.
In the decision, the court also said Evers would need legislative approval to issue more such orders.
Some state GOP lawmakers publicly approved of the court decision.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said residents “don’t need state government telling them how to live their lives.”
Others, such as liberal Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, were upset with the decision, saying the mandate was necessary to save lives.
“This is no run-of-the-mill case,” Bradley wrote. “We are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic that so far has claimed the lives of over a half million people in this country.”
The state Supreme Court in May 2020 ruled against Evers’ stay-at-home order in response to the virus pandemic.