Reuters reports, Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the Democratic governor Tony Evers, challenging his stay-at-home order to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The lawsuit filed roughly three days before the Evers administration’s second stay-at-home order is scheduled to take effect, asks the Wisconsin Supreme Court to issue a temporary injunction on the state’s order that was extended until May 26 by the secretary of Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services at the direction of the governor. The administration’s first order, which was handed down March 25, is scheduled to expire at 8 a.m. Friday.
“There’s immense frustration regarding the extension, as it goes beyond the executive branch’s statutory powers. Wisconsinites are forced to sit by with no voice in the process,” State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate majority leader Scott Fitzgerald said in a joint statement.
There have been 4,600 cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin and 242 deaths, state officials reported on Tuesday.
Last week Gov. Tony Evers’ health secretary, Andrea Palm ordered most nonessential businesses to remain closed until May 26.
In the lawsuit, Republicans accuse Palm of overstepping her legal authority by issuing the extension, saying:
“Purporting to act under color of State law, an unelected, unconfirmed cabinet secretary has laid claim to a suite of czar-like powers—unlimited in scope and indefinite in duration—over the people of Wisconsin,” reads the GOP complaint. “Per her decree, everyone in the State must stay home and most businesses must remain shuttered (with exceptions for activities and companies arbitrarily deemed “essential”).”
“By the time the Secretary sees fit to lift her decree (be it in five weeks or eight months), many Wisconsinites will have lost their jobs, and many companies will have gone under, to say nothing of the Order’s countless other downstream societal effects,” the complaint argues. “Our State will be in shambles.”