A conservative judge has harshly criticized his colleagues for their decision to overturn Wisconsin’s stay-at-home order. The court ruled 4-3 to strike down Governor Tony Evers’ restrictions.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has a conservative majority but Justice Brian Hagedorn dissented from the ruling and blasted the majority for acting in a “tyrannical” fashion.
Hagedorn wrote that Wisconsinites had not given the court the power to “to step in and impose our wisdom” but “they left that to the legislative and executive branches.”
“The rule of law, and therefore the true liberty of the people, is threatened no less by a tyrannical judiciary than by a tyrannical executive or legislature,” Hagedorn said in the minority’s dissent.
“Today’s decision may or may not be good policy, but it is not grounded in the law.”
“In striking down most of Order 28, this court has strayed from its charge and turned this case into something quite different than the case brought to us,” he went on.
“To make matters worse, it has failed to provide almost any guidance for what the relevant laws mean, and how our state is to govern through this crisis moving forward.”
Two other members of the court joined the dissent but Hagedorn’s fellow conservatives in the majority naturally disagreed with his view.
Justice Rebecca Grassl Bradley said his dissent “contains no constitutional analysis whatsoever, affirmatively rejects the constitution, and subjugates liberty.”
Critics have previously accused Wisconsin’s supreme court of extreme partisanship, driven by Republicans’ attempts to seize control of the court in furtherance of their political goals.
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media