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State Supreme Court takes case challenging Gov. Evers’ emergency declaration

MADISON (WKOW) -- The Wisconsin Supreme Court has agreed to take a case challenging Gov. Tony Evers' declared emergency over the coronavirus pandemic.

The lawsuit claims that Evers overstepped his authority by not getting the Legislature's approval when he declared his most recent state of emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for 9:45 a.m. on Nov. 16.

Wisconsin law allows the governor to declare a state of emergency in response to a crisis. The state of emergency cannot last more than 60 days without approval from the Legislature.

Evers has previously declared two states of emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The first, issued in March, was struck down by the state Supreme Court after the governor tried to extend it.

He declared another over the summer in response to a new surge of COVID-19 cases.

On Sept. 22, Evers declared a third emergency, this time citing rising cases on college campuses. That order remains in effect until Nov. 21.

The question before the court is whether the states of emergency are in response to the same crisis or if each surge of new COVID-19 cases is a separate problem requiring a new emergency declaration from the governor.

The Republican-controlled Legislature, which could extend the Democratic governor's emergency order, has thus far declined to do so.

Emergency orders, like the one imposing a state-wide mask mandate, would no longer be in force if the state of emergency is struck down by the court.

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