Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Racine lawsuit is a test case for how much power local officials have to control the spread of coronavirus

From JSOnline:

Patrick MarleyMilwaukee Journal Sentinel

Six weeks after the Wisconsin Supreme Court threw out the state’s stay-at-home order, city and county officials are learning they may have little ability to control the spread of the coronavirus.
A lawsuit in Racine could determine how much power local officials have to close bars and gyms and take other steps to try to contain the pandemic. The lawsuit — which has gone abysmally for Racine officials in its initial stages — comes as health officials raise concerns about an increase in cases.
The Supreme Court in May issued a 4-3 decision that tossed out a statewide stay-at-home order issued by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. The lawsuit was brought by Republican lawmakers, who argued they should have a say in any state rules meant to contain the virus.

After winning the case, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos of Rochester and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau said they didn’t think any state rules were needed. Local officials could handle the illness by putting in place their own rules, they argued.

Indeed, in the hours after the Supreme Court issued its decision, several communities imposed their own orders, many of them mirroring the ones written by the Evers administration.

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