Judge puts Wisconsin capacity limit order back into effect
MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) – A Barron County judge ruled to allow limits on public gatherings to resume, giving a victory to Governor Tony Evers’ efforts to help slow the spread of coronavirus, but challengers remain concerned over effects on small businesses.
Judge James Babler denied a request for a temporary injunction by plaintiffs in the case saying there was little evidence they would be successful in their challenge and a lack of backing that the order was causing ‘irreparable harm.’
The lawsuit was brought forth by the Tavern League of Wisconsin. For now, the Evers administration’s order to limit public gathering capacity at 25 percent at some businesses like bars and restaurants.
“This critically important ruling will help us prevent the spread of this virus by restoring limits on public gatherings,” Gov. Evers said in a statement.
“This critically important ruling will help us prevent the spread of this virus by restoring limits on public gatherings. This crisis is urgent. Wisconsinites, stay home. Limit travel and going to gatherings, and please wear a face covering whenever you have to go out.”
“I was glad to see that order,” Attorney General Josh Kaul told CBS 58 in an interview. “Wisconsin is facing one of the biggest coronavirus outbreaks in the country right now, and we need to have common sense measures in place that are going to slow the spread of this virus, so that we can protect people’s health and also so that we can reopen our economy as soon as possible.”
While Kaul applauded the judge’s decision, he expects the legal fight to continue.
“I’m sure there will be more litigation over this but the Department of Justice will continue defending those reasonable regulations as this makes its way through the court process,” Kaul said.
“We are obviously disappointed in the ruling and the catastrophic effects it will continue to have on small businesses across Wisconsin,” Tavern League President Chris Marsicano said in a statement. “We will continue to operate observing the best practices of the WEDC to provide a safe environment for our employees and customers.”
While the Tavern League may not move forward with an appeal, another bar tied to the lawsuit may still do so and continue the lawsuit. The current order runs until Nov. 6 but could potentially be renewed after that.