Conservatives ask for immediate halt to Wisconsin's mask mandate

Conservatives asked a judge on Monday to immediately put an end to Wisconsin's mask mandate, arguing that Democratic Gov. Tony Evers doesn't have the authority to issue such an order that comes as cases of COVID-19 continue to surge across the state.

Attorneys for the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty filed the request in Polk County Circuit Court for an immediate injunction to block the order. It was part of an amendment to a lawsuit they had filed there in August against Evers' first mask mandate.

The original mask order ran from Aug. 1 through Monday. Evers last week issued a new public health emergency and extended the mark order until Nov. 21.

“This motion for an immediate injunction is a recognition that the executive branch in Wisconsin is, thus far, completely undeterred by the constraints of state law and must be reined in," said Rick Esenberg, president of the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, in a statement.

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Evers has defended the mask order despite the ongoing legal challenge, saying it is within his power to mandate and is following the recommendations of public health experts. Health officials worldwide agree that wearing masks is an effective way to slow the transmission of COVID-19, along with washing hands, keeping a distance from other people and remaining at home as much as possible.