Governor’s Mask Mandate Struck Down by WI Supreme Court, But Whitewater’s Mask Ordinance is Still in Effect Through June 30

The City of Whitewater Common Council adopted an ordinance on July 21, 2020 that requires the wearing of face coverings in all public buildings, with limited exceptions. On March 16, 2021 the Council extended the effective date of the ordinance through June 30, 2021. The action of the WI Supreme Court on March 31, striking down the governor’s emergency orders including the mask mandate, has no effect on Whitewater’s ordinance.

(League of Wisconsin Municipalities email) – Wisconsin Supreme Court Strikes Down Governor’s Successive Emergency Orders This morning, March 31, 2021, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that the Governor exceeded his authority under Wis. Stat. § 323.10 by issuing successive states of emergency based on the same public health emergency basis. Fabick v. Evers, 2021 WI 28. The Court held “that Wis. Stat. § 323.10’s duration-limiting language forbids the governor from declaring successive states of emergency on the same basis as a prior state of emergency, and that the governor may not reissue a new emergency declaration following legislative revocation of a state of emergency declared on the same basis.” Accordingly, the Court held that Executive Orders #82, #90, and #105 are void. Consequently, Emergency Order #1, which was issued under Executive Order #105 and established the Governor’s statewide mask mandate (set to expire April 5, 2021), is also void. Read the Court’s full decision here.

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