On Friday, the Michigan Supreme Court unanimously said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s attempt to continue a state of emergency after April 30, 2020, without legislative approval was illegal. Additionally, in a 4-3 decision, the court ruled that the Emergency Powers of Governor Act of 1945, which Gov. Whitmer argued allowed her to maintain unilateral control for an indefinite period, is unconstitutional. All executive orders issued after April 30 are null and void, pending an almost certain rehearing request from the governor and other state officials.
“The court has restored the voices of 10 million Michiganders by reaffirming the constitutional protections of checks and balances afforded through the separation of powers,” said Patrick Wright, vice president for legal affairs at the Mackinac Center and director of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation. “This important decision was long in the making, but now future COVID responses will have the benefit of including the people’s representatives through the legislative process. As our state continues to face the challenges that come with COVID-19, all of the people of Michigan will have a voice in the decisions that will impact our state in the years to come.”
The case was originally filed in May by the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, in conjunction with the Grand Rapids-based Miller Johnson law firm. It was on behalf of three medical practitioners who were unable to provide necessary care and a patient who was unable to receive care under the governor’s emergency executive orders. Grand Health Partners, Wellston Medical Center and Primary Health Services were among the health care facilities across Michigan initially prevented from performing elective procedures like endoscopies and surgeries. Their patients experienced heart attacks and depression. Jeffery Gullick is a patient who faced excruciating pain after being forced to postpone a knee surgery.
Read more at the Mackinac Center
You can read the decision here.