Empower Wisconsin | July 7, 2020
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Liberal activist judges once again have sided with unelected bureaucrats and against civil liberties.
The Wisconsin’s District II Court of Appeals on Friday issued a snap ruling staying a lower court’s temporary injunction against the city of Racine’s restrictive health orders.
David Yandel, the business owner who filed the lawsuit alleging the city violated his civil liberties, tells Empower Wisconsin he is appealing directly to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, seeking to bypass an appeals court where the outcome appears predetermined.
The ruling allows the city’s health officer to once more impose sweeping restrictions to deal with communicable diseases such as COVID-19 while the appeals court considers Racine County Circuit Court Judge Jon Fredrickson’s earlier ruling finding the city’s Safer Racine ordinance “unconstitutionally vague and overbroad.” Fredrickson said the rules are unenforceable as drafted.
Liberal Mayor Cory Mason got the right court — or the left court — to do his and the City Council majority’s bidding. Judicial activist Lisa Neubauer, who ran unsuccessfully last year for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, presides over the appeals court. Her radical leftist daughter, Greta Neubauer, is a state representative and Mason’s aide when he served in the Legislature.
Mason and the bureaucrats wasted no time reinstating the ordinance.
“It will be enforced,” Mason said, after announcing the court’s decision Friday afternoon, according to the Racine Journal Times. “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.”
The ordinance caps restaurant patron capacity at 50 percent, mandates retailers follow stricter guidelines by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., and requires gyms and other fitness facilities reduce capacity to a maximum of 10 people inside at all times.
Yandel is the owner of Harbor Park Cross Fitness, a fitness club on Racine’s Blue River Ave. He said he sued after Mason and city officials refused to accept input from him and other business owners on an ordinance that could balance the interests of public health and civil liberties.
After the Supreme Court struck down the Evers administration’s statewide lockdown in May, Racine, like Madison and Milwaukee, with the blessing of liberal state Attorney General Josh Kaul, doubled down on its unconstitutional health orders.
So he filed the lawsuit.
In June, Fredrickson issued a temporary injunction halting the ordinance. Mason and the city council attempted to go around the order by issuing what they described as a new Safer Racine ordinance. The judge wasn’t buying it. He issued another temporary injunction and told city officials he’d hold them in contempt of court if they tried the stunt again.
The city appealed, filing so late in the day last week that Yandel’s attorney had no time to respond.
The court’s ruling brings back overarching control to the power-hungry mayor and his unelected health director. And Mason has grown fond of the extraordinary power the near-sighted council has delivered.
As Empower Wisconsin reported last week, the Democrat admits that he denied a pandemic-related business grant to a local business because one of the store’s co-owners attended an April rally in Madison calling on Gov. Tony Evers to end his draconian lockdown of the state.