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Court strikes down Wisconsin’s stay-at-home order

Wisconsin demonstrator
REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Demonstrators protesting the extension of the emergency Safer at Home order by Gov. Tony Evers, outside the State Capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin, on April 24.

In The New York Times Neil Vigdor reports, “The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected the extension of a stay-at-home order by Gov. Tony Evers, siding with Republican legislators in the state in a high-profile challenge of the emergency authority of a statewide official during the coronavirus pandemic. … Within hours of the ruling, some taverns were making plans for reopening, the governor’s office said. ‘This turns the state to chaos’, Mr. Evers said in an interview. ‘People will get sick. And the Republicans own the chaos.’”

In the Star Tribune, Stephen Montemoyer reports: “A group of older Minnesota voters is suing the secretary of state over concerns that the state’s absentee voting rules could put their vote — and their health — at risk this year. … The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Ramsey County District Court by the Minnesota Alliance for Retired Americans Educational Fund, looks to stop the state from enforcing that requirement and also to adopt a postmark deadline on mail-in ballots.”

MPR’s Kirsti Marohn says, “Minnesota is poised to become the first state in the country to ban trichloroethylene, or TCE, an industrial solvent used in manufacturing that has been linked to negative health effects, including cancer. The Minnesota House passed the ban Wednesday following prior Senate approval. Gov. Walz is expected to sign it into law. Last year, the Twin Cities east metro company Water Gremlin agreed to pay $7 million in fines and other costs tied after the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency determined the plant had released an excess amount of the chemical into the air.”

Also in the New York Times, Katie Rogers reports: “President Trump on Wednesday criticized congressional testimony delivered a day earlier by Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, who had warned against reopening the country too quickly and stressed the unknown effects the coronavirus could have on children returning to school. … ‘To me it’s not an acceptable answer, especially when it comes to schools.’”

This from Reuters, “Canada and the United States appear likely to extend a ban on non-essential travel until June 21 amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, a Canadian government source and a top U.S. official said on Wednesday. The two neighbors had agreed on April 18 to extend border restrictions until May 21 as cases of the disease continued to rise in both nations. Canada is now pressing for the measures to remain for another month. …Chad Wolf, acting U.S. Department of Homeland Security secretary, said later on Wednesday that restrictions across the borders with Canada and Mexico would likely be extended.”

The Star Tribune’s Torey Van Oot writes, “Drug companies will have to notify Minnesota consumers about big prescription medication price hikes, under a major compromise measure signed into law on Tuesday. The new price transparency law, which passed both chambers of the Legislature with bipartisan support, is the result of more than a year of negotiations between legislators and interest groups.”

WCCO-TV reports: “With the season postponed until July, the St. Paul Saints are gearing up for a unique start to their season in which they are calling ‘Nopening Day.’ On May 19, the celebration will begin with a curbside pickup ‘Nopening Day’ T-shirt giveaway in front of CHS Field. The Saints will hand out 500 shirts — two per car — from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. At 6 p.m., fans can go on Twitter and Facebook to watch the first game in CHS Field from 2015.”

Also in the Star Tribune, this from Rochelle Olson, “Law enforcement must have a reasonable suspicion of illegal activity before they can peruse the names on a hotel guest registry, the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. In a 4-3 decision, the court ruled that a guest’s presence at a hotel is potentially sensitive and shouldn’t be wide open for law enforcement.”

Comments (9)

  1. Submitted by Marc Post on 05/14/2020 - 08:32 am.

    The Republican death panels have spoken! Sorry, Wisconsin.

    If you had vacation plans in Wisconsin, better rethink that.

  2. Submitted by BK Anderson on 05/14/2020 - 08:53 am.

    Thanks to the conservative activists sitting as “justices” on the WI supreme court, that state will now become an out of control Covid-19 Petri dish.This absurd ruling will also have negative consequences for residents on the WI/MN border, including the Twin Cities. Heckuva job, “conservatives”!

  3. Submitted by Peter Callaghan on 05/14/2020 - 09:13 am.

  4. Submitted by Aaron Propes on 05/14/2020 - 10:18 am.

    Can we close out border to Wisconsin? Please?

  5. Submitted by Eric Snyder on 05/14/2020 - 11:44 am.

    Meanwhile, in Wisconsin:

    If you don’t visit the tweet, what is shows is a picture of people crowding a bar with no masks or social distancing to be seen.

    What is going on in our society? Are other countries dealing with this kind of pointlessly politicized response to the virus?

    Is it the case that the conservative reality bubble has become so insular and disconnected from science and rational thought that it views the virus in strictly political terms–that lock-down orders are somehow “liberal,” that public health research is also somehow “liberal” and that therefore it can be discarded?

    What explains this mad rush into an obvious health risk?

    The “coast is clear, let’s party” message the conservatives on the WI supreme court have effectively given is reckless and irresponsible and borders on a kind of reckless endangerment and/or structural homicide.

    When COVID-19 cases start spiking in Wisconsin–a perfectly avoidable situation–by what precedent will those who caused this be held accountable? Can public officials, in this case conservative jurists, deliberately expose citizens to needless risk of harm and death without consequence?

  6. Submitted by BK Anderson on 05/14/2020 - 12:09 pm.

    I think your (thoughtful) questions pretty much answer themselves, unfortunately.

    We are watching the mass breakdown of civil society and the harbingers of a failed state. To conservatives, lawful government by lib’uls is wholly illegitimate.

  7. Submitted by ian wade on 05/14/2020 - 12:15 pm.

    “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” – George Carlin

  8. Submitted by Tom Clarke on 05/14/2020 - 12:35 pm.

    What protective measure did the Justices of the Wisconsin Supreme Court use when hearing and deliberating this case? Any masks, social distancing, remote zoom type hearings?

    • Submitted by BK Anderson on 05/15/2020 - 08:09 am.

      I don’t know if this was rhetorical, but the hearing was conducted remotely.

      As conservative elites, the Repub justices are not going to risk contracting the virus themselves. That’s the job of the (eager) white nationalist cannon fodder packing the WI taverns….

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