As we watch COVID-19 numbers increase in the State of Wisconsin and other states in similar straits mandating face masks, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers can’t seem to make a decision.

Earlier this week he indicated that it would be futile to mandate masks because of the earlier Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling canceling his stay at home orders. He stated that the Republicans would just sue and the court would just throw the mask order out. And that the court determined he didn’t have the authority to issue the order.

Because of a state Supreme Court decision in May that struck down much of the governor’s stay-at-home order, Evers says his administration no longer has the sole authority to issue statewide mandates aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.

But whether Evers can or can’t take such actions is under debate.

Legal experts don’t all agree that the Supreme Court ruling prevents the governor from shutting down bars if virus cases skyrocket, or requiring masks like governors in Kansas, Michigan, Illinois and California have mandated.

“The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision in (Legislature v. Palm) expressly stated that it was not ruling on the governor’s powers. As a matter of precedent, that means that (the ruling) does not foreclose the governor from issuing an order mandating masks or closing certain businesses,” said University of Wisconsin Law School professor Miriam Seifter, who specializes in executive power and the separation of powers at the state and federal levels.

“The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision in (Legislature v. Palm) expressly stated that it was not ruling on the governor’s powers. As a matter of precedent, that means that (the ruling) does not foreclose the governor from issuing an order mandating masks or closing certain businesses,” said University of Wisconsin Law School professor Miriam Seifter, who specializes in executive power and the separation of powers at the state and federal levels.

Well, I don’t believe that he hasn’t the authority. He is tasked with protecting the health and well being of Wisconsin residents and he should act accordingly. And if the GOP sues and the governor loses, the shit hitting the fan is blowing into the offices of Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Lead Scott Fitzgerald. Both of whom are relatively mute on the subject. The governor needs to do what is right.

Now, I apparently am not alone in my sentiment. Other business people have talked to the governor in support of a face mask requirement and of course we’ve seen petitions from Milwaukee businesses asking the city to at least put one in place.

Gov. Tony Evers signaled Tuesday he might try to require Wisconsin residents to wear face masks to address a new surge of coronavirus cases — after previously taking the position he didn’t have the authority to do so.

Evers, who wore a face mask during a briefing with reporters, said he’s considering a mask mandate but said it’s unclear whether it would stick after a state Supreme Court ruling in May that tossed out much of his stay-at-home order and put his authority to issue statewide orders in question.

The Democratic governor made his comments after Dane County officials issued an order Tuesday requiring face coverings in all indoor settings except at home and in restaurants, and as a Milwaukee alderwoman proposed a city mask ordinance that would be one of the strictest in the nation if enacted.  

Later in the briefing, Evers also said he was “looking at all options” and said a “business leader” called him recently asking him to mandate masks to ensure outbreaks don’t get out of hand and force more business closures.

“I talked to him about the possibilities of it being challenged in court by the Republicans, which is probably 100%, and our chances of losing in the Supreme Court which are probably very close to 100%, and he said ‘Do it anyway,’ ” Evers said.

emphasis mine

Since we are never going to have federal guidelines…and given the Dane County order…and the certain to pass Milwaukee ordinance…it would be a positive for businesses around the state to have consistent laws. And quite frankly somebody to point a finger at when customers balk…instead of trying to enforce their own rules in house. And end up in viral videos across social media.

So, Governor Evers! Stop being a wimp and do the right thing and issue the rule…and let the GOP play their default role as villain…again…and let them explain the rise in positive cases despite ‘their best efforts to keep us safe’ [snark]

One Response to Face Masks: Gov. Evers Needs To Make Up His Mind

  1. Locke says:

    ““The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision in (Legislature v. Palm) expressly stated that it was not ruling on the governor’s powers.”

    Sure, if we’re talking strictly in legal terms, then it’s possible – reasonable even – to conclude that the ruling doesn’t limit a governor’s power. But that assumes it was made on a legal basis to begin with. All things considered, it’s hard to believe that the ruling wasn’t a very clear message on what this particular governor can do.

    Legislature refused to do anything. Evers did everything he could to get them to take action & they didn’t. He finally took action to try and address the problem. Legislatures pouted, sued him & the court took their side. The deciding vote in the case was cast by an unelected judge who graduated from the Christian Broadcasting Network law school and who was a lame duck who got his ass kicked when he faced votes. In state where incumbent, conservative justices seldom lose.

    I absolutely wish Evers would stand up and do what’s right. But it’s really hard to conclude the state supreme court doesn’t does anything different until Kelly is done in August.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.