Michigan court upholds Whitmer's power to extend stay-at-home orders
Victory for the Democratic governor!
"Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer had the right to extend the state's stay-at-home order and extend the state of emergency, the Michigan Court of Claims ruled Thursday, rejecting a lawsuit filed by Republicans in the state legislature who challenged her emergency powers in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
[. . .]
The Republican-controlled legislature filed its lawsuit after Whitmer extended the state of emergency through May 28th without its approval at the end of April.
Republicans argued that the emergency powers law from 1945 only pertains to local emergencies, rather than statewide emergencies. Judge Cynthia Diane Stephens rejected that argument, writing in her ruling that "the EPGA was intended to confer 'sufficiently broad power' on the Governor in order to enable her to respond to public disaster or crisis."
[. . .]
On the issue of the 1976 law, though, Judge Stephens wrote that Whitmer was not able to extend a state of emergency on her own using that law. But under the court's ruling recognizing her broad authority as governor, Whitmer would be able to cite the 1945 law in extending a state of emergency next week, should she decide to take that avenue.
Republicans are planning to appeal the decision. At the end of the oral arguments held on May 15, Stephens anticipated that the case would likely be decided by the Michigan Supreme Court.
[. . .]
Michigan has been hit hard by COVID-19, which has killed more than 5,000 Michiganders. The state has the ninth highest deaths per capita as of Thursday afternoon, according to Johns Hopkins data.
The devastation caused Whitmer to issue strict stay-at-home orders, which she has begun to loosen. . . . . The areas opening up are common vacation spots where some Michiganders own second homes, but Whitmer encouraged people to "think long and hard" before visiting those regions to avoid possibly spreading the virus. "
The Trumplicans have targeted Michigan, which elected a woman Democrat for governor at the last election. They'd love to topple her or at least publicly embarrass her, but so far, Gov. Whitmer has stood firmly in place!
You go, Gretchen, go!