The Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Governor Tony Evers' mask mandate on Wednesday in a 4-3 ruling, deciding that the mandate exceeded his authority.
The decision, which came from the conservative-controlled court, comes after the state's Legislature voted to repeal the mask mandate in February. Gov. Evers then reinstated the mandate.
The court has ruled that Evers was only able to issue public health emergencies for just 60 days, to which any decisions would need legislative approval.
"The question in this case is not whether the governor acted wisely; it is whether he acted lawfully. We conclude he did not," Justice Brian Hagedorn wrote, according to The Associated Press.
Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, who voted for the mandate's implementation, wrote that the decision would put lives at risk throughout the state.
"This is no run-of-the-mill case," she wrote. "We are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic that so far has claimed the lives of over a half million people in this country. And with the stakes so high, the majority not only arrives at erroneous conclusions, but it also obscures the consequence of its decision. Unfortunately, the ultimate consequence of the majority’s decision is that it places yet another roadblock to an effective governmental response to COVID-19."
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