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Coronavirus

Wisconsin High Court: Governor Can’t Limit Business Capacity

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Supreme Court says Gov. Tony Evers’ administration doesn’t have the authority to issue capacity limits on bars, restaurants and other businesses without approval of the Legislature.

The ruling comes two weeks after the conservative-controlled court struck down the state’s mask mandate.

The Supreme Court also ruled last year in a similar case, saying the Democratic governor needed legislative approval for an emergency declaration that shut down businesses early in the coronavirus pandemic.

There hasn’t been a statewide capacity limit restriction in place since October.

The Supreme Court ruled 4-3 on Wednesday the order issued by Evers’ Department of Health Services meets the definition of a rule, which by law must go through the Republican-controlled Legislature. The court’s four conservative justices ruled against Evers, while three liberals dissented.

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