The Wisconsin Supreme Court ended the state’s mask mandate on Wednesday when it overruled Governor Tony Evers’ (D-WI) order took place without legislative approval. The mask mandate had been in effect since last summer.
The governor’s original plan intended to extend the mask policy through the summer of 2020. Evers continued to extend the mandate on multiple occasions through executive action without state approval.
“A governor will surely have little difficultly drafting a new emergency order stating that the challenges or risks are a little different now than they were last month or last week,” reads the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s majority opinion. “So long as the emergency conditions remain, the governor would possess indefinite emergency power under this atextual theory.”
Evers argued the pandemic’s ongoing seriousness permitted him the power to extend emergency health orders, including required mask wearing. The Wisconsin State Court ruled 4-3 Evers did not hold the legal power to create such orders under state law.
The governor continued to proclaim his “fight” against COVID-19 remains. “Our fight against COVID-19 isn’t over—while we work to get folks vaccinated as quickly as we can, we know wearing a mask saves lives, and we still need Wisconsinites to mask up so we can beat this virus and bounce back from this pandemic,” he tweeted following the verdict.
Wisconsin joins seven other states that have now ended statewide mask mandates. The other states include Arkansas, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.
Texas ended its mask mandate Mar. 10. As of this week, COVID-19 cases continue to decline in the state. The trend follows similar statistics in Florida, one of the earliest states to roll back mask mandates.
As spring break travelers realize people down south have been getting along just fine without masks, blue state residents are returning ready to challenge mandates. Wisconsin may be the first state in its area to make the change, but others are expected to soon follow.
The Wisconsin court decision also recognized the government’s vast overreach throughout the pandemic. Both at the state and federal levels, COVID-19 has become the go-to excuse for regulating everything from masks to churches. The charade worked for a while, but many Americans are no longer willing to be shut down by lockdown policies.
Trump is even talking about holding another rally soon. Why? To give Americans hope. Hope is needed much more than a mask for many Americans at this point. Quarantines and shutdowns have led to massive levels of depression and loneliness. Many children have lost a year’s worth of educational progress.
Why? In many cases, liberal teachers unions are to blame. In numerous blue states, leaders have used the pandemic to tell people they cannot attend church or even work a year after 15 day to stop spread was announced.
As the government now talks about vaccine passports to travel or do business, people are rightly concerned regarding the numerous invasions of privacy and government intrusions in American life. The Wisconsin court is right. We need fewer executive actions and more American action.