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Thomas More Society applauds court’s decision in capacity-limits lawsuit

Attorneys at the conservative Thomas More Society are applauding the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s ruling that Gov. Tony Evers’ administration has no authority to impose capacity limits on bars, restaurants and other businesses without approval of the Legislature.

The nonprofit law firm represented Pro-Life Wisconsin in the suit, which was decided on Wednesday. Pro-Life Wisconsin and the Mix-Up Bar in Amery challenged an order that limited the size of indoor public gatherings to 25% of a building or room’s occupancy or 10 people in places that have no occupancy limit. There has not been a statewide capacity-limit restriction in place since October when a state appeals court blocked the order.

The plaintiffs argued that the court’s 2020 ruling blocking the governor’s “safer at home” order set a precedent that requires that such changes be approved by the Legislature.

Andrew Bath, executive vice president and general counsel of the Thomas More Society, said the rights of Pro-Life Wisconsin and other plaintiffs were violated when Evers’ administration made the rule, and those rights were “vindicated” by the state Supreme Court’s decision on Wednesday. Bath said the group hailed the court’s decision because the “very notion of citizen self-government was at stake in this case.”

Dan Miller, state director of Pro-Life Wisconsin, called the decision a win for the people of Wisconsin. He said the case was about how a “handful of citizens and constitutional law experts stood up to tyranny and won.”

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