Judge Reinstates Crowd Limits in Wisconsin’s Public Spaces

Bars, restaurants and stores in Wisconsin once again have to count the number of people who walk through the front door.

A judge in Barron County on Monday reinstated Gov. Tony Evers’ emergency order that places a 25% limit on customers.

The ruling in Barron County comes just days after a judge in Sawyer County ruled for the Tavern League and its members. The crowd cap limit was frozen over the weekend. Sawyer County Judge James Barber had asked the head of Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services to come to his courtroom Monday and defend the ruling.

The judge said the Tavern League and its members’ bars did not prove the order actually hurt their business.

“There’s no showing of irreparable harm,” Barber wrote. “I merely have the theoretical issue that if they were to comply, they would suffer harm.”

Barber also asked for the Wisconsin Supreme Court to settle the issue.

“I beg the Supreme Court for clarity because should this issue be decided by them, trial judges need to know how they need to rule,” Barber said.

Evers applauded the judge, and once again said his order will help protect people from the coronavirus.

The lobbyist for the Tavern League told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that a limit on customers will hurt businesses across the state. But the Tavern League is going to tell its members to go along with the order.