Wisconsin bars packed after court strikes down stay-at-home order

Bars in Wisconsin were packed on Wednesday night.

Video from this bar in West Allis, a Milwaukee suburb, showed patrons huddled together and not wearing masks just hours after Wisconsin's supreme court knocked down the state’s stay-at-home order.

Larry Prior, owner of Buzzards Nest in Wisconsin: "It was a rough two months and we miss our customers, a lot of them are like family to us, and it was good to see a lot of familiar faces, it’s been a long time."

Hayden Krueger was one of dozens enjoying a night out at Buzzards Nest after isolating.

"It’s been kinda boring sitting in my house, I love my fiancé but there’s only so much we can handle from each other without having interaction with each other."

Bars in Wisconsin began opening back up after the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Wednesday sided with Republican lawmakers who had argued the state's top public health official exceeded her authority when she extended Wisconsin's stay at home order through May 26.

The court, which is dominated by Republican-nominated judges, said that while Wisconsin's Democratic Governor Tony Evers possesses emergency powers, the stay-at-home order was effectively imposed by Health Secretary Andrea Palm, whose discretion as a political appointee is more limited.

Republicans in Wisconsin and across the U.S. have rallied and demonstrated against efforts to close businesses to protect public heath. The state's Republican controlled legislature filed its lawsuit on April 21, arguing the stay-at-home order would cost residents their jobs.

The Wisconsin ruling marks the first time a statewide order of its kind has been struck down by a court, in a decision applauded by U.S. President Donald Trump, who on Thursday tweeted "Its Democrat Governor was forced by the courts to let the State Open. The people want to get on with their lives. The place is bustling!"