Gov. Tony Evers' order requiring the majority of Wisconsinites to wear a face mask when inside most buildings takes effect Saturday
It potentially sets up another legal battle.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, indicated that the Legislature is not planning on challenging the governor this time.
However, Kenosha County Board member Terry Rose, an attorney, said he is opposed to the mandate and has been speaking to someone he may represent in a lawsuit to try to fight the order.
“I’m certainly considering it if a client comes along,” Rose said.
Rose said he does not believe the governor has the legal authority to issue a second emergency order on the virus. He also was also upset that the order exempts the legislature and the judiciary.
"I’m in favor of people voluntarily complying but using a mask, but I don’t like government telling you whether to wear a mask or not without any legislative authority,” Rose said, adding that Evers is “seizing power without legislative authority.
“You don’t pass laws in this country that way, this is not a dictatorship.”
Rick Esenberg, president of the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, which has sued Evers several times, said the governor “lacks the legal authority” to issue the order.
Esenberg stopped short of promising a lawsuit, saying he was reviewing it.
Republican state Sen. Steve Nass, one of the Legislature’s most conservative members, called for lawmakers to meet in an emergency session to kill the order, which he called “illegal and unnecessary.”
Evers said he would welcome the Legislature meeting to address the pandemic, which it hasn’t done since mid-April. But he said it was a “sad commentary” that Nass wanted to reconvene just to kill the mask order.
“Obviously he doesn’t believe that masks matter,” Evers said. “That’s fine, he can be one of those people that flouts the order. But to come in and have the Republicans say essentially we don’t believe in science, it’s pretty risky business. It’s risky political business and risky health business.”
Vos did not say whether the Legislature would reconvene to kill the order.