Madison, Wisconsin Mayor Laments 'Outrageous, Irresponsible, Disappointing' Decision to End State's Stay-at-Home Order

The mayor of Madison, Wisconsin said Friday the state's Supreme Court ruling ending Wisconsin's stay-at-home order was "outrageous."

"The decision by the Supreme Court is just outrageous, it is irresponsible, and it is really disappointing. The court has decided that with a flip of a switch the state is without any sort of public health guidance at all in response to this pandemic," Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said in an interview on CNN's New Day.

"Here in Madison we are still enforcing the safer-at-home order. Our public health director issued those orders countywide and really not much has changed locally. But I am extremely worried because Madison is not an island and what happens in the rest of the state really affects us," the mayor said.

The Democratic mayor's comments were in reference to the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling that asserted the state's top health department official Andrea Palm overstepped her authority by extending the stay-at-home order without allowing the legislature to take up the matter first.

"This case is about the assertion of power by one unelected official, Andrea Palm, and her order to all people within Wisconsin to remain in their homes, not to travel and to close all businesses that she declares are not 'essential'," Chief Justice Patience Roggensack stated in the court's majority opinion.

"We do not conclude that Palm was without any power to act in the face of this pandemic. However, Palm must follow the law that is applicable to state-wide emergencies," the court's decision states. "We further conclude that Palm's order confining all people to their homes, forbidding travel and closing businesses exceeded the statutory authority...upon which Palm claims to rely," the court wrote in its decision.

Justice Daniel Kelly wrote in a concurring opinion that Palm's order "contains or assumes policy decisions that are staggering both in their reach and in their effect on what we once thought of as inherent rights – rights that, according to our constitution, the government exists to secure."

Rhodes-Conway said the Supreme Court's decision was "political" in her CNN appearance, citing that the case was brought to the court by Republican lawmakers in the state legislature.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers also criticized the Supreme Court's ruling Thursday, saying there would be "chaos" in the state as a result of what he believed was a decision influenced by Republicans.

"Just because Republicans said it can be a free-for-all, that doesn't mean we have to throw that good judgment out the window," the governor said during the press conference as he urged residents to continue following the stay-at-home order.

Wisconsin has 11,275 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and a total of 434 deaths attributed to the virus since the start of the pandemic, according to the state's Department of Health Services website. The site also states that only 1,939 people who tested positive have been hospitalized.

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People hold signs during a protest against the coronavirus shutdown in front of the State Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin, on April 24, 2020. - Gyms, hair salons and tattoo parlors had a green light to reopen in the US state of Georgia on Friday as the death toll from the coronavirus pandemic soared past 50,000 in the US. (Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI / AFP) (Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images) Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty