The ongoing battle between the state’s top elected official, Gov. Tony Evers, and state legislators took a turn Wednesday morning toward the GOP-controlled legislature, when the conservative-dominated Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that Evers’ mask mandate was illegal.

The court, which ruled 4-3 in favor of a lawsuit brought by a donor to one of the court’s judges, Rebecca Bradley, said that while the Governor, a Democrat, had the power to put in place the mandate, it was time-limited to a 60-day period. That period expires April 5. It also means Evers can not extend the mandate.

What happens now? It appears that extending the mandate, if it is extended in some form or shape, is up to the Republicans. So far, most Republicans have not been supportive of the mask mandate and instead they have pushed for what they call “reopening the economy.” 

Bottom line? The top court’s ruling is a victory for the Republican Party. It remains to be seen, however, if this is a victory for public health and safety as in the last week many states have reported a surge in Covid infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. Is Wisconsin next?

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