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Wisconsin Supreme Court strikes down mask mandate

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MADISON, Wis. (AP/WAOW) -- The Wisconsin Supreme Court has struck down Gov. Tony Evers' statewide mask mandate, ruling that the Democratic governor exceeded his authority by issuing the order.

The 4-3 ruling Wednesday by the conservative-controlled court is the latest legal blow to attempts by Evers to control the coronavirus.

It comes after Republicans in the Legislature voted to repeal the mask mandate, only to see Evers quickly re-issue it. That re-issued mandate was scheduled to expire on April 5.

The court ruled that any public health emergency issued by Evers is valid for just 60 days and can't be extended without approval of the Legislature.

In doing so, they declared Executive Order #82, Executive Order #90 and Executive Order #105 as unlawful. Those executive orders were made in July, September, and February, respectively.

The court states that Executive Order #105 is unlawful based on the revocation of Executive Order #104.

Nearly 60 organizations, including groups representing hospitals, doctors and nurses, had opposed striking down the mandate.

Gov. Tony Evers issued a response following the decision, saying:

“Since the beginning of this pandemic, I’ve worked to keep Wisconsinites healthy and safe, and I’ve trusted the science and public health experts to guide our decision making. Our fight against COVID-19 isn’t over—while we work to get folks vaccinated as quickly as we can, we know wearing a mask saves lives, and we still need Wisconsinites to mask up so we can beat this virus and bounce back from this pandemic.”

Read the full Supreme Court opinion below or by clicking here.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This is a developing story that will be updated.

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