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Polk County judge considers temporary halt of statewide mask mandate

Posted at 7:41 PM, Oct 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-05 20:41:11-04

POLK COUNTY — A Polk County judge is considering whether or not to temporarily halt Wisconsin's mask mandate.

Conservative law group Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) is suing Gov. Tony Evers for his statewide mask rule. The group filed a motion asking Judge Michael Waterman to order the mask mandate be lifted while the lawsuit makes its way through the process.

Judge Waterman said he is taking the matter about the injunction under advisement, and said he will issue a written ruling in the coming days.

In the lawsuit, attorneys for WILL claim Evers went beyond his powers by not taking input from the legislature when he issued the state's second Safer At Home order on July 30, which included the statewide mask mandate.

"He’s used that authority to issue an order that applies generally to all Wisconsinites, and that itself reflects an extraordinary assertion of governmental power," WILL attorney Anthony LoCoco said.

Attorneys for Evers said the second order was not an overreach because it came as cases began to rise and continue to surge across the state.

"The data here is screaming out that unfortunately Wisconsin right now is in a very different and much worse situation than it has been," said Colin Hector, an attorney for Evers.

WILL filed the lawsuit back in August on behalf of two men from Polk County and one from St. Croix County.

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