The conservative-leaning Wisconsin Supreme court on Wednesday ruled Democrat Governor Tony Evers cannot limit business capacity without approval from the state legislature.
This is the second time in recent weeks that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that Evers violated the law by circumventing the state legislature.
In late March, the state supreme court struck down Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate.
There is no statewide capacity restriction currently in place because a state appeals court blocked Evers’ latest Covid order limiting indoor gatherings to 25% of a building’s occupancy in October of last year.
The Wisconsin high court on Wednesday ruled 4-3 on party line that Evers’ order meets the definition of a rule and according to the law it must go through the legislature.
ABC News reported:
The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that Gov. Tony Evers’ administration does not have the authority to issue capacity limits on bars, restaurants and other businesses without the Legislature’s approval, a ruling that comes two weeks after the conservative-controlled court struck down the state’s mask mandate.
The Supreme Court ruled 4-3 on Wednesday that the order issued by Evers’ Department of Health Services meets the definition of a rule, which by law must go through the Legislature. The court’s four conservative justices ruled against Evers, while three liberals dissented.
The case was brought by the Mix-Up Bar in Amery and Pro-Life Wisconsin, a group that opposes abortion rights. They argued that the court’s 2020 ruling blocking the governor’s safer at home order set a precedent that requires such moves to be approved by the Legislature.
Although Wednesday’s ruling was a win for small businesses, there are still local ordinances in place that put a cap on how many people can gather indoors.