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Hours after the Wisconsin state Supreme Court struck down the governor’s extended stay-at-home order, patrons flooded the bars to celebrate in ways they have not celebrated in nearly two months.
According to Fox News, some bars, such as Nick’s Bar in Platteville, reported a full house within 45 minutes of the Supreme Court’s ruling; all young people, none of whom wore masks or practiced “social distancing.”
“Live video showed guests standing and sitting close to one another around the bar while dancing, drinking and singing to music. The establishment wrote that it was serving at least two dozen people within an hour of reopening,” reported Fox News.
“The Iron Hog Saloon in the Town of Port Washington had reopened its doors by 3 p.m. Wednesday, WISN reported,” the report later added. “Owner Chad Ardnt said he’s upped cleaning protocols and decided to reopen given his nine employees have not received a paycheck in months. Video filmed by the station from inside the bar showed customers were not wearing face masks.”
Immediately after the ruling, the Tavern League of Wisconsin, a trade organization of about 5,000 members, announced that establishments can immediately open while asking that businesses follow safety guidelines in accordance with the local municipalities.
“The Court’s decision takes effect immediately, meaning that – at the state level – Order #28 is unenforceable and there are no longer requirements that people remain in their homes, or restrictions on nonessential travel or business operations including restaurants and taverns,” the Tavern League said. “Our lawyers are reviewing the ability of local municipalities or counties to pass their own Safe at Home Orders. For the time being, Licensees should know they may face fines for opening in violation of a local order. For that reason, it is important to consider any local orders and consult with the municipality issuing their license. The following is from the Wisconsin Counties Association which states it is unclear whether locals have the authority to pass Safe at Home Orders.”
The court’s decision did allow room for local municipalities to institute their own ordinances that were immediately passed following the ruling.
“In Dane County, home to the capital of Madison, officials quickly imposed a mandate incorporating most of the statewide order,” reported Fox News. “City health officials in Milwaukee said a stay-at-home order they enacted in late March remains in effect.”
Some bar openings, such as state Street Pub in Green Bay, Wisconsin, were short-lived after local authorities instituted their own lockdown orders.
45 minutes after the bars open in Wisconsin…. pic.twitter.com/xqaDlS6ajP
— Nick's bar (@nicksonsec) May 14, 2020
The court’s ruling came after Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers extended the state’s lockdown orders, which were supposed to end on April 24, to May 26 under the advisement of his Health Secretary Andrea Palm. In the ruling, the court argued that Tony Evers had overstepped his power and that the order should be subject to legislative review.
“Without legislative review, ‘an unelected official could create law applicable to all people during the course of COVID-19 and subject people to imprisonment when they disobeyed her order,’” the court wrote in the opinion.
In response, Evers said that the state Supreme Court has thrown Wisconsin into chaos at the prompting of Republicans.
“Today, Republican legislators convinced four members of the state Supreme Court to throw the state into chaos,” Evers said. “They have provided no plan. There’s no question among anybody that people are going to get sick. Republicans own that chaos.”
Some Brown County bars reopen after state Supreme Court throws out stay-at-home order. https://t.co/xgYn3Efizt
— Green Bay Press-Gazette (@gbpressgazette) May 14, 2020
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