Mar 31, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Wisconsin Supreme Court strikes down statewide mask mandate

Tony Evers wears a face mask
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on August 27, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Wisconsin's Supreme Court struck down Gov. Tony Evers' (D) statewide mask mandate on Wednesday by ruling against multiple emergency declarations made during the pandemic, AP reports.

State of play: The court ruled that the governor overstepped his powers by issuing multiple emergency declarations for the pandemic, lasting longer than 60 days, without approval from the state legislature. The ruling invalidates the current mask mandate in the state, which was set to expire next Monday.

Background: Evers issued the mandate in early February, almost immediately after the state legislature voted to repeal his previous order.

  • He said last month that his efforts to implement coronavirus restrictions to protect Wisconsinites have been met with "lawsuits, political rhetoric, and obstruction," citing the legislature's vote.

The backdrop: Coronavirus cases are ticking up in the U.S. again, as some states relax restrictions amid rising vaccinations. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky pleaded Americans on Monday to not let up on public health measures.

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