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Former Justice Kelly commends Senate for voting to repeal mask mandate

Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly commended lawmakers in the Senate for voting to repeal Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate.

The Republican-controlled Senate passed a resolution to undo the mask requirement on Tuesday, despite warnings from health care professionals who argued that doing so would impair efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Kelly, who’s now the senior fellow in constitutional government at the conservative Institute for Reforming Government, congratulated state senators for attempting to end this particular use of the governor’s emergency powers and urged the Legislature to continue “asserting its primacy” in setting public policy.

“Emergencies and good intentions do not excuse the governor from following the law,” Kelly said in a statement on Tuesday night.

Both legislative chambers have to pass the resolution in order to undo the mask requirement. The Republican-controlled Assembly scheduled the resolution for a vote on Thursday.

The statewide mask mandate is scheduled to run until March 20. Even as Republican lawmakers try to repeal it, the mandate is also being challenged in the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments in November and could rule at any time.

If the statewide mask mandate is repealed, local orders requiring masks will remain in effect.

About Michaela Paukner, mpaukner@wislawjournal.com

Michaela Paukner is the legal reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal. She can be reached at (414) 225-1825 or by email at mpaukner@wislawjournal.com.

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