MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Court of Appeals on Friday reinstated Racine's ordinance to slow the spread of COVID-19 after a lower court declared it unconstitutional.
The appeals court ruled that Safer Racine can remain in effect while the city's appeal is considered. The Journal Times reported that the appeals court could still ultimately rule against the city.
"It will be enforced," Mayor Cory Mason vowed after the decision came down. "The appeals court has put a stay in place, putting the Safer Racine ordinance back in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus here in our community … Going into the Fourth of July weekend, we still do have these local restrictions in place. They are critically important to protect public health."
Judge Jon Fredrickson ruled Wednesday the ordinance was "unconstitutionally vague and overbroad."
It limits restaurants and bars to 50% of their maximum capacity. It requires retailers to follow guidelines on cleaning procedures and social distancing. And it limits gyms and other fitness facilities to 25% of capacity or a maximum of 10 people. The rule on gyms sparked the challenge.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court ended Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' statewide stay-at-home order in May. The city's legal team argues that Safer Racine should be treated differently because it was approved by a legislative body.