Wisconsin Supreme Court to hear case challenging Evers' COVID-19 order

Posted at 8:06 PM, Oct 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-28 21:18:55-04

MADISON — The Wisconsin Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case challenging Gov. Tony Evers' COVID-19 order.

Jeré Fabick, a policy adviser at the conservative Heartland Institute in Waukesha County, is suing the Evers administration, arguing that the governor overstepped his authority by issuing another COVID-19 executive order after his first order had expired. Fabic contends Evers should have submitted the order to the legislative branch, instead of issuing it outright.

Justice Rebecca Frank Dallet Jr. was one of three dissenting liberal-leaning justices, and argued in the Supreme Court order Wednesday that the court's jurisdiction is not meant to allow a "disgruntled taxpayer to jump the line," and urged the lower courts to continue to carry on without interruption.

"This is especially true when the only 'harm' alleged by the petitioner is that the Governor spent time drafting, promoting, and enforcing an executive order. By accepting this petition absent
even the bare minimum requirement that the petitioner allege some personal harm, this court flings open its doors to any and all taxpayers who are merely unhappy with any government official's
action," Dallet argues.

The decision comes less than a week before the Nov. 3 election, and as Wisconsin continues to record spiraling coronavirus cases into the fall season.

"Granting Fabick's petition is the latest step in the majority's efforts to transform this court from one of last resort to the first stop for any discontented Wisconsinite," Dallet concludes.

Fabick's lawsuit is the third filed against the Evers' administration over his ability to issue emergency health orders. Evers' first order was blocked by the state Supreme Court last spring. Evers issued a second order over the summer, and issued the third in late September amid a surge in cases.

According to Wisconsin law, governors can issue emergency health orders lasting two months. The legislative branch must then approve an extension.

Evers contends that the conditions in which he issued the initial order have changed, and thus the latest order does not require an extension from the legislature.

The state Supreme Court is set to hear the case on Nov. 16 at 9:45 a.m. It can be accessed by the public using Wisconsin Eye.

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