Judge denies Tavern League's request to block Gov. Evers' indoor capacity order

Posted at 7:24 AM, Oct 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-19 14:12:00-04

BARRON COUNTY, Wis. -- A Barron County judge has ruled that a temporary restraining order against Gov. Tony Evers' order restricting indoor capacity in Wisconsin bars and restaurants be lifted, meaning that it is once again in effect.

Earlier this month, Gov. Evers ordered new restrictions limiting indoor capacity to 25 percent at all bars, restaurants, and stores statewide. Many business owners complained their businesses won't survive.

The Tavern League of Wisconsin sued, and last week Sawyer County Judge Don Yackel temporarily blocked the order with a restraining order. Monday, Judge James Babler removed the restraining order, arguing the plaintiffs had not proven any actual harm to businesses, just theoretical harm.

"Numerous businesses have gone under during the pandemic. We don't need to lose more in the name of acting quickly and ignoring the law," said Josh Johanningmeier, an attorney representing the Tavern League.

In response to the ruling, Gov. Evers released the following statement;

“This critically important ruling will help us prevent the spread of this virus by restoring limits on public gatherings. This crisis is urgent. Wisconsinites, stay home. Limit travel and going to gatherings, and please wear a face covering whenever you have to go out."

The case is another example of the governor's pandemic-related emergency orders being legally challenged.

The first pandemic-related statewide emergency order was blocked by the Wisconsin Supreme Court back in the spring when Republicans argued that Evers overreached in his authority.

You can read Monday's ruling in full here.

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