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COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin continue to surge, and the state Supreme Court agreed to challenge Governor Tony Evers’ emergency powers during Wednesday’s coronavirus pandemic.

The case could damage the Democratic governor’s requirement that people wear masks and restrict the passage of bars, restaurants and shops. The capacity limit has been blocked by the lower court, but his mask requirement still exists.

To track COVID-19 in Wisconsin: View the latest figures and trends

The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case in a short order, with the majority being four conservatives and three liberals. Most people conducted a quick investigation into the case, and a debate is scheduled for November 16.

The decision was made less than a week before the pandemic election. The state also experienced a record number of cases, including Tuesday’s high of 5,262.

Most people did not explain why they accepted the case, but dissidents claimed that they would not accept the case until the lower court first heard the case.

Judge Rebecca Dallet wrote for the opponents: “By accepting this petition, even if the petitioner is asked for some personal injury, the court will be dissatisfied with any government official’s behavior. The taxpayer opened the door.”

JeréFabick, a prominent Republican donor and policy adviser at the conservative Heartland Institute, filed a lawsuit this month. He asked the Supreme Court to hear the case directly instead of submitting it to the circuit court first.

The lawsuit states that Evers no longer has the right to issue emergency orders because his initial emergency declaration in response to the pandemic has expired.

Republicans in control of the legislature did not agree to extend the emergency declaration, which automatically expired after 60 days, so Evers issued a follow-up declaration. Evers argues that he can issue multiple emergency declarations because the threat of a pandemic will change over time, just as a river may flood multiple times in a season.

Fabick, president of Caterpillar equipment distributor Fabick Cat, believes that this is not the case, and said Evers needs the permission of lawmakers to issue pandemic-related orders.

If successful, the lawsuit will eliminate Evers’ emergency order. This will effectively leave it to local officials to decide how to deal with the epidemic.

The judge told those who filed the lawsuit in the order on Wednesday to study whether the state law allows Evers to issue an emergency order, and if so, to transfer part of the legislature to the governor, and whether the law is too strict.

The majority are Chief Justice Patience Roggensack (Patience Roggensack) and Justice Rebecca Bradley (Rebecca Bradley), Brian Hagedorn (Brian Hagedorn) and Annette Ziegler ( Annette Ziegler). Dalette and Justices Ann Walsh Bradley and Jill Karlovsky disagreed.

Two other cases concerning Evers’ emergency powers are currently in the lower courts. The Supreme Court on Wednesday shelved one of those who challenged the authorization of masks.

The third case involved capacity restrictions. Last Friday, the Court of Appeals restricted it when it considered the case.

Republican lawmakers successfully filed a lawsuit this spring to end the household order of the Evers government. They were not involved in the case accepted by the Supreme Court on Wednesday, but they made brief statements in other cases that tried to end the mask requirement.

Contact Patrick Marley at patrick.marley@jrn.com. Follow him on Twitter at @patrickdmarley.

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