Evers administration asks court to dismiss GOP lawsuit against Safer At Home.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice asserts that the Safer At Home order is well within the scope of DHS’s authority. Graphic: Sam Buisman

Author: Sam Buisman

The Evers administration responds to the Legislature’s lawsuit to suspend the Safer At Home order, asking the State Supreme Court to throw out the case.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice filed their response to the Republican lawsuit seeking to end the Safer At Home order Tuesday evening, arguing that the order is within the authority of the Department of Health Services and protecting Wisconsinites from COVID-19. Their brief askes the Wisconsin State Supreme Court to deny the Legislature’s petition asking the court to void the order.

Addressing the filing in a press release, Governor Tony Evers said “Deadly viruses don’t wait around while bureaucrats and politicians jump through procedural hoops. An effective response requires swift action by public health experts, which is why state law gives DHS the power to act quickly to stop the pandemic and save lives.”

On April 22, lawyers representing the GOP-controlled legislature sued the Wisconson DHS in the State Supreme Court. They argue that the Safer At Home abuses the department’s power and does nothing to stop the coronavirus’s spread.

In their response, State attornies argue that Wisconsin’s pandemic laws give the DHS broad powers to limit public gatherings that justify the order, and that COVID-19 has spread at a slower rate since the order went into effect.

Eyes are now on the Wisconsin Supreme Court to either reject the case or allow it to proceed into argumentation. WSUM will continue to follow this story and issue updates as they emerge.