Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has taken a hardline approach in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ordering lockdowns of bars and restaurants across the state and significantly limiting other social gatherings.
That trend shifted this week, however, when the state’s Supreme Court rejected many of the governor’s strictest rules, as reported by The Washington Times.
Counties begin to take action
The ruling came in the form of a 4–3 decision on Thursday that invalidated restrictions on business and social gatherings.
School closures enacted across the state, on the other hand, were left in place as a result of the ruling. Furthermore, local jurisdictions will still be allowed to enact coronavirus-related restrictions of their own.
In short order, Dane County — Wisconsin’s second-most populated county and the home of its capital city, Madison — exercised the reinforced power and imposed new rules.
Officials in Milwaukee County, which is home to nearly half a million people, leads the state in COVID-related deaths, are reportedly discussing further action to limit the virus’s spread.
“Republicans own that chaos”
For his part, Evers acknowledged that he “reacted angrily” to the court ruling that reined in some of his prior executive decrees.
“Today, Republican legislators convinced four members of the state Supreme Court to throw the state into chaos,” he complained during a recent conference call, as The Washington Times reported.
Evers went on to throw more partisan jabs, accusing the GOP of having “no plan” and asserting that there is “no question among anybody that people are going to get sick” as a result of the Republican-led push against his policies.
“Republicans own that chaos,” he declared, according to the Times.
Meanwhile, Evers has made COVID-19 restrictions a recurring theme of his administration, taking time earlier this week to tout his tough response.
The governor insisted: “Wisconsin, this is serious. The crisis is urgent. It’s not safe to go out, it’s not safe to have others over — it’s just not safe. And it might not be safe for a while yet. So please, cancel the happy hours, dinner parties, sleepovers, and play dates at your home. And if a friend or family member invites you over, offer to hang out virtually instead.”