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Chaotic, Partial Reopening Follows Wisconsin Ruling

State high court threw out governor's stay-at-home order
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 14, 2020 4:08 PM CDT

(Newser) – Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers warned Thursday of "massive confusion" after the state Supreme Court tossed out the Democrat's stay-at-home order, and Republicans said they may leave it up to local governments to enact their own rules. The court's order threw communities into chaos, the AP reports, with some bars opening immediately while leaders in other areas moved to keep strict restrictions in place. If there is to be a statewide plan, Evers will have to work with the same Republicans whose lawsuit resulted in Wednesday's ruling. After meeting Thursday with Evers, Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said that the two sides may not be able to reach agreement and that a statewide policy might not be needed. "Apparently they believe that different rules are OK," Evers said of Republicans. "I can’t imagine another state that is in this predicament."

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Vos downplayed the concern. "We already know that local health departments have the ability to utilize their power, which is already there to deal with those situations if they feel it’s unsafe," Vos said. The speaker said he had faith that the "vast majority" of businesses would act responsibly and open with precautions, such as ensuring customers keep at least 6 feet away from each other. That wasn't always the case Wednesday night. Nick’s Bar in Platteville posted a video that showed it teeming with people without masks. Bars in Appleton and Kaukauna also were packed. The party may be short-lived in Appleton, where an order took effect at 8am Thursday continuing the state’s "safer at home" order. Other communities were taking similar steps. President Trump praised the ruling, tweeting: "The people want to get on with their lives. The place is bustling!"

(Read more Wisconsin stories.)

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