No decision yet in statewide mask mandate legal challenge

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HUDSON, WI (CBS 58) -- Governor Tony Evers' statewide mask mandate faces a legal challenge from a trio of northwest Wisconsin residents. They've asked a judge to either invalidate the emergency order or declare the law allowing him to create the orders unconstitutional, which would also invalidate the mask mandate.

They've asked the judge to put a temporary hold on enforcing the mask mandate while the judge considers the arguments. The judge wrapped up the hearing Monday, Oct. 5 without issuing a ruling from the bench. He told the lawyers he needed time to consider their arguments and will issue a written ruling.

The main arguments presented to him revolve around separation of powers issues between the governor and Legislature.

"As long as the governor is able to extend based on changing circumstances, he will virtually always be able to extend a state of emergency," said plaintiffs attorney Anthony LoCoco.

"In order to terminate a state of emergency declaration, they have to take a political act, they have to pass a joint resolution," said Assistant Attorney General Colin Hector.

During the hearing the judge said he was struggling with a fundamental issue in the case, whether a judge can step in and end an emergency when the Legislature hasn't done that itself.

He did not indicate when he we would issue a ruling on the temporary injunction.

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