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At this point, many Americans have been quarantined for almost two months.
The economy is suffering. Small businesses are closing. People are ready to get life back to normal and start working again.
Unfortunately, many governors, most of them Democrats, won’t let their citizens do that.
They keep extending these “stay-at-home” orders to protect us, but will there be anything left to protect when everyone is out of a job?
It’s been in question for quite some time as to how much power these governors really have when it comes to shutting down businesses and ordering people to remain in their homes.
Now, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has given us an answer.
In a 4-3 decision, the state’s highest court struck down Democrat Governor Tony Evers’ stay-at-home order. Wisconsin Republicans have been fighting the governor’s actions recently in order to protect the livelihoods of their residents and it looks like for now they won this battle.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel details the court’s decision:
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has struck down Gov. Tony Evers’ order shutting down daily life to limit the spread of coronavirus — marking the first time a statewide order of its kind has been knocked down by a court of last resort.
The state’s highest court sided with Republican lawmakers Wednesday in a decision that curbed the power of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ administration to act unilaterally during public health emergencies.
The 4-3 decision was written by four of the court’s conservatives — Chief Justice Patience Roggensack and Justices Rebecca Bradley, Daniel Kelly and Annette Ziegler.
The court’s fifth conservative, Brian Hagedorn, wrote a dissent joined by the court’s two liberals, Ann Walsh Bradley and Rebecca Dallet.
The ruling immediately lifts all restrictions on businesses and gatherings imposed by the administration’s order but keeps in place the closure of schools until fall. It comes after Evers had already begun lifting some restrictions because the spread of the virus has slowed for now.
“Republican legislators convinced four members of the Supreme Court to throw the state into chaos,” Evers told reporters Wednesday evening. “Republicans own that chaos.”
Republicans who brought the lawsuit had asked the justices to side with them but to stay their ruling for about a week so legislators and Evers could work out a new plan to deal with the pandemic.
The justices declined to do that and had their ruling take effect immediately.
To put any new limits in place, the Democratic governor and Republican-controlled Legislature will be forced to work together to deal with the ebbs and flows of the outbreak — something the two sides have rarely been able to achieve before.
The Evers administration will submit a new plan Thursday, even though Republicans had asked them to do so sooner. Republicans have yet to offer one of their own.
With no COVID-19 policies in place, bars, restaurants and concert halls are allowed to reopen — unless local officials implement their own restrictions. That raises the prospect of a patchwork of policies, with rules varying significantly from one county to the next.
The court issued its decision a month after Kelly lost his seat on the court. He will be replaced in August by Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky, a liberal who beat him by 10 points in the April 7 election.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau, who brought the lawsuit with Assembly Speaker Robin Vos of Rochester, said in an interview that it was Evers who “set the table for chaos” by lifting restrictions on retail businesses this week instead of following his own reopening plan that required certain benchmarks to be met first.
“The public started to become skeptical,” he said.
Naturally, the governor had a negative reaction to the court’s decision. He even predicted Wisconsin would become the “Wild West” now that his orders have been removed.
Clearly Governor Evers doesn’t trust his own citizens to take matters into their own hands to limit the spread of COVID.
Here’s a clip of the governor’s pessimistic reaction on MSNBC:
Many reactions on Twitter were positive with regard to the ruling:
Watch Fox News’ in Milwaukee full report on the ruling:
It’s a slap in the face to Wisconsin residents that the governor believes without his orders, chaos will ensue.
Businesses around the country have been working like crazy, many without any orders from the government, to ensure customers and clients are safe.
CBS in West Virginia reported on the extra precautions businesses are taking on themselves, absent any orders from the governor:
Monday was the day, as a number of businesses were able to re-open their doors to customers following Governor Jim Justice’s “comeback” blueprint. While things may be re-opening, that doesn’t mean everything looks the same as it did, two months ago.
For customers at The Blend in South Charleston, changes have started before you even walk in.
“It’s a little overwhelming,” owner Teddy Atkins says.
The waiting room is now closed. Instead, customers have to wait in their cars. Once they come in, they must immediately wash their hands. They also have a limit to the number of clients allowed in at once. That helps maintain social distancing guidelines but it also gives Atkins and his staff more time to “decontaminate.”
“We are obviously througly cleaning with a cleanser and then going back with hospital grade disinfectant,” he says. “Which helps to save us a little time.”
Customers must also sign a COVID-19 waiver. It’s emailed to your phone, to limit exposure.
“We are trying to satisfy our clients, but at the same time, we are trying to protect them,” Atkins says. “We want to do this in the best and safest way possible.”
Just down the road, at Dr. Scott Eder’s dentistry office, patients must wait in their cars too.
A COVID-19 waiver is required here as well, in addition to a wellness questionnaire. They also check temperatures before a person can enter the office.
“This is kind of the new normal for us, for the foreseeable futures,” Dr. Eder says. “Maybe forever, who knows.”
They’ve increased the level of personal protection equipment that stuff must wear — including gowns, gloves, masks and goggles. They also limit the number of patients that can enter at once.