The Wisconsin Supreme Court has struck down the state’s safer at home order. Wisconsinites are allowed to go back to work and travel after eight weeks.
The 4-3 ruling essentially reopens the state, lifting caps on the size of gatherings, allowing people to travel as they please and allowing shuttered businesses to reopen, including bars and restaurants.
The oral arguments presented to the State Supreme Court revolved around the legality of Emergency Order 28, signed by Health Secretary-designee Andrea Palm.
The court ruled the order “unlawful, invalid and unenforceable.”
Lawyers arguing for the Wisconsin Legislature that the order was unconstitutional suggested a week-long period to devise a plan with the legislature and the governor’s office, but the court instead struck down the order with no additional plan.
“I trust that the parties will place the interests of the people of Wisconsin first and work together in good faith to quickly establish a rule that best addresses COVID-19 and its devastating effects on Wisconsin,” Chief Justice Patience Roggensack wrote in the majority opinion.
Other justices disagreed with that statement.
“I fail to see the wisdom or the equity in invalidating Emergency Order 28 and, at least for the time being, leaving nothing in its stead,” Justice Ann Walsh wrote in her dissent.
Justice Rebecca Dallet wrote a separate dissent stating, “This decision will undoubtedly go down as one of the most blatant examples of judicial activism in this court’s history. And it will be Wisconsinites who pay the price.”
In Burnett County this news was paired with the notification that the county had its first COVID-19 case. A resident tested positive for coronavirus and died from a secondary bacterial infection after seeking medical treatment in Minnesota.
Bars and restaurants opened their doors on Thursday. Brickfield Brewing in Grantsburg, The Pour House in Siren and Zia’s in Webster were just a few of the businesses that took to social media to announce they were opening back up.
Other businesses like St. Croix Casinos decided to keep their doors closed. The three general managers of the casinos in Danbury, Hertel and Turtle Lake released a statement regarding re-opening the casino
“We will remain closed until we feel that appropriate safety measures are in place,” the statement said. “We know you are ready and eager to come through our doors, and when you do we want you to know, that we have implemented safety measures that will assist in keeping all of us as safe as possible.”
Burnett County Sheriff Tracy Finch also spoke about the safer at home order with some caution.
“Please remember that COVID-19 is a serious health risk and we have many people who are vulnerable to it living in our county,” Finch said. “I am concerned that positive cases in Burnett County will rise. Please use common sense and protect your own health and the health of others.”