Wisconsin Supreme Court rules health departments don’t have authority to close schools

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that local health departments do not have the authority to close schools due emergencies like the coronavirus pandemic.

The conservative majority of the court, in a 4-3 decision Friday, also ruled that a school closure order issued last year by Public Health Madison & Dane County infringed on religious rights.

The ruling is yet another victory for conservatives who challenged both state and local orders issued during the pandemic to close schools, limit capacity in buildings and require masks to be worn.

All of those restrictions have either expired or been rescinded by courts.

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