Speaker of Wisconsin State Assembly Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) issued a statement voicing their concerns.
“The public outcry over the Safer at Home order continues to increase as positive COVID cases decrease or remain flat,” the statement reads. “There’s immense frustration regarding the extension, as it goes beyond the executive branch’s statutory powers. Wisconsinites are forced to sit by with no voice in the process.”
The lawsuit challenges the authority of Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm. The lawmakers claim she has “laid claim to a suite of czar-like powers” which is “unlimited in scope and indefinite in duration.”
It goes on to assert that her authority does not have an expiration date and it is ultimately greater than Evers’ authority.
The lawmakers point out the expiration date of the order but also acknowledge it may be extended.
“To be sure, Emergency Order 28 says it terminates on May 26, but nothing suggests that it won’t be extended again. Perhaps it will even run into 2021.”
“In any case, by the time the Secretary sees fit to lift her decree (be it in five weeks or eight months), many Wisconsinites will have lost their jobs, and many companies will have gone under, to say nothing of the Order’s countless other downstream societal effects,” the lawsuit reads.
It adds, “Our State will be in shambles.”
The lawsuit reiterates Palm “took unprecedented action” in making her decisions and did not follow “any of our State’s requirements for rulemaking.”
Evers responded to the lawsuit in a twitter thread.
“Today’s action by legislative Republicans during a crisis is a shameful response by people elected to protect and serve the people of our state,” Evers tweeted.
He added, “It is a disservice to those we represent, those who are struggling in this crisis, and the economy we will need to rebuild together.”
Today’s action by legislative Republicans during a crisis is a shameful response by people elected to protect and serve the people of our state. It is a disservice to those we represent, those who are struggling in this crisis, and the economy we will need to rebuild together.— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) April 21, 2020
Vos and Fitzgerald closed their statement asserting Wisconsin’s residents deserve an end to the order.
“Wisconsinites deserve certainty, transparency, and a plan to end the constant stream of executive orders that are eroding both the economy and their liberty even as the state is clearly seeing a decline in COVID infections,” the statement reads.
The lawsuit will head to the Wisconsin Supreme Court for a decision.