Wisconsin residents flooded to local bars after the state Supreme Court struck down the stay-at-home orders that required bars and other establishments where viruses can spread extremely easily to remain closed. Photos and videos of people packed in bars and celebrating their freedom to get themselves and others sick and maybe dead quickly spread online Wednesday night.
Wisconsinites pack into crowded bars to celebrate court-ordered end of lockdown. https://t.co/tNHbaKkxCn— Christopher Ingraham (@_cingraham) May 14, 2020
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers criticized the ruling, calling his state “the Wild West.”
“There are no restrictions at all across the state of Wisconsin,” he said in an interview with MSNBC. “So at this point in time … there is nothing that’s compelling people to do anything other than having chaos here.”
Wisconsin counties and cities are now scrambling to create and implement their own stay-at-home orders, which may end up conflicting with one another and causing mass confusion as the pandemic rages on.
Platteville, Wisconsin: https://t.co/tFeTzs1TPG— Molly Beck (@MollyBeck) May 14, 2020
While states that have implemented strict stay-at-home orders are beginning to see a decline in new cases and deaths, but public health experts are extremely concerned that opening up too fast and too early could cause an uncontrollable surge in new cases and result in avoidable deaths.
“When you have no requirements anymore, that’s a problem,” said Evers. “We’re just leaving it open. We’re going to have more cases. We’re going to have more deaths. And it’s a sad occasion for the state. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am.”
Up to now, we were in a pretty good place in our battle against #COVID19. We had reached almost all our gating criteria. We had opened up small businesses across the state, putting folks back to work, and that was because of the good work of Wisconsinites across our state.— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) May 14, 2020
The Republicans who sued the Wisconsin government in April argued to the state Supreme Court that extending the stay-at-home orders indefinitely is an abuse of the governor’s emergency powers. Justice Rebecca Bradley, who voted against the governor in the ruling, even compared the situation to the Japanese internment camps that the U.S. shamefully created during WWII.
Dissenting Justice Rebecca Dallet did not mince words in condemning her fellow judges.
“This decision will undoubtedly go down as one of the most blatant examples of judicial activism in this court’s history,” she wrote. “And it will be Wisconsinites who pay the price.”
People in all kinds of U.S. states are also not thrilled.
Trump, celebrating the judicial activism that is forcing Wisconsin’s premature and lawless reopening, is out of step with Wisconsin’s public and with science. But in line with the GOP’s biggest donors. https://t.co/DXvReCgDxG— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) May 14, 2020
Disappointed but not surprised. They put lives at risk by forcing an election, of course they were going to double down. It’s like no lives matter. This is bad. https://t.co/URZJ5MJRPD— Mandela Barnes (@TheOtherMandela) May 13, 2020
We take no pleasure in predicting a wave of preventable deaths from red states prematurely racing to “open for business” before flattening the curve.— 🌹Shahid Buttar for Congress (@ShahidForChange) May 14, 2020
Arbitrary judges in Wisconsin reflect why (at the federal level) we must end judicial life tenure—to guard the law from politics. https://t.co/DosdIrl6UR
This is tough but there will be more cases & more deaths in Wisconsin as a result of this ruling. That's just how this virus works. There's no getting around it.— Sean Patrick Maloney (@RepSeanMaloney) May 14, 2020
Science needs to determine when states reopen, not politicians or courts. We've got to stay the course. https://t.co/VcFLUZOhL5
Don't know who needs to hear this, but not being able to go to a bar during a pandemic is not the same as the racist and xenophobic removal and detainment of more than 100,000 Americans https://t.co/gy5liErKVb— Marina Fang (@marinafang) May 14, 2020
Please stay as safe as you can if you live in Wisconsin and are smart.