Wisconsin Republicans sue governor over stay-at-home order

Republican leaders of the Wisconsin Legislature asked the Conservative-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court on Tuesday to block an order from Gov. Tony Evers' administration extending a stay-at-home order until May 26.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald asked the Supreme Court to take the case directly, a move that would skip lower courts and get a final ruling sooner.

Evers on Thursday announced that he was directing state Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm to extend the order closing most nonessential businesses from April 24 to May 26.

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Vos and Fitzgerald said Tuesday that there was "immense frustration" with the extension. They argue that Palm exceeded her authority in issuing it.

Evers has said he believes the order was made legally. Vos and Fitzgerald said the order is eroding the economy and liberty of people in the state.

The lawsuit was filed as Vice President Mike Pence was in Madison touring a GE Healthcare facility where ventilators are being produced. Pence said during the tour that social distancing and other mitigation efforts have helped to slow the spread of the virus.

To date, 242 people have died from COVID-19 in Wisconsin and there are more than 4,600 confirmed cases.