(The Center Square) – A legal challenge to Gov. Tony Evers’ mask mandate was filed Monday in Polk County.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) asked a Polk County judge to place a hold on the governor’s face mask requirement.
“[Gov] Evers first declared a state of emergency related to COVID-19 on March 12, 2020. That state of emergency expired by law on May 11, 2020," WILL said in its request for a temporary injunction. "Then, on July 30, 2020 he declared a second state of emergency via Executive Order #82, extending the state of emergency relating to COVID-19 for another 60 days. On September 22, 2020, anticipating the expiration of his second state of emergency declaration, Governor Evers declared a third state of emergency relating to COVID-19 via Executive Order #90, yet again extending the state of emergency beyond the 60-day limit provided by law.”
WILL’s Rick Esenberg said the challenge comes over the governor’s mask orders, but he is clear that the issue is not masks. Esenberg said the issue is the governor’s abuse of his power.
“[This] 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,” Esenberg said.
A number of Wisconsin lawmakers want the state legislature to return to Madison and overrule the governor, but the Republican legislative leaders are not ready to go that far. Both Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos have said they want to see the governor’s emergency orders challenged in court.
This is not the first time WILL has taken Evers to court over the governor’s emergency orders. WILL filed a similar lawsuit in August after the governor’s second coronavirus order. That case is still pending.