On Thursday afternoon, Governor Evers issued declared another statewide Public Health Emergency (Executive Order #82) that begins on Saturday, August 1 and continues through September 28. He also issued Emergency Order #1 which mandates “face coverings” (aka, “masks”) statewide.
While the Order does include a number of exemptions or exceptions (such as, you don’t have to wear a mask when eating, drinking or sleeping. Yes, these are specifically delineated in the order), the order raises questions about whether, for instance, churches and private schools have the right to exercise autonomy in this matter.
We have been in contact with constitutional attorneys who tell us it will take some time to completely assess the Order and to determine if a lawsuit is warranted and if so to get it filed, etc. One major legal question is whether the Governor even has the authority to issue a second 60-day Public Health Emergency for the same issue (COVID-19 in this instance).
Meanwhile, while the attorneys deliberate regarding a possible legal challenge, the state legislature does have a way to stop the Governor’s Order. The law that gives the Governor authority to issue a Public Health Emergency (Chapter 323…) states that the implementation of the order can be stopped by the Governor issuing another Order or by the state legislature passing a Joint Resolution.
Thursday afternoon, State Senator Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) issued a press release in which he said the Governor’s Order was “illegal and unnecessary” and called for a special legislative session to stop the Order.
We believe this legislative approach is the best option to quickly counter the Governor’s newest edict. We are asking that you AS SOON AS POSSIBLE make 3 phone calls to help make this special legislative session and a joint resolution:
You can find contact information for your elected officials HERE (just put your address in the area at the top right of the page).
We know this is a confusing and challenging time for everyone. We are hoping our state legislators will step up and do the right thing in this instance and act as a “check and balance” to the executive branch. Wearing a mask should not be forced on everyone; the government can make recommendations, but ordering mask wearing and imposing a fine for not doing so is a breach of our individual freedoms and just may also encroach on our religious freedom as well. This is yet another powerful reminder that ELECTIONS HAVE VERY REAL CONSEQUENCES. Remember that as you vote this fall!