A Wisconsin trial judge heard oral arguments Monday on a case challenging Wisconsin Governor Tony Ever’s authority to extend a state of emergency past the constitutionally allotted 60 days. Last week, the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty motioned for temporary injunction to block the mandate pending a decision in the case.
Under Wisconsin law, the Governor can call a state of emergency for up to 60 days. The Wisconsin Legislature must extend the emergency if it goes beyond the allotted time. Governor Evers first issued a state of emergency due to COVID-19 in March, resulting in a state-wide mask mandate. He then issued another in July, which he extended 60 days via executive order in September.
The Wisconsin Legislature has not used its authority to stop the extension, but did file a brief in support of the lawsuit last Friday.
In the meantime, Governor Evers announced Tuesday that he intends to add stricter limitation to the state, once again limiting gatherings in public spaces to 25% capacity. The order goes into effect at 8 a.m. on Thursday and will remain in effect until Nov. 6.