REPORT: Judge rules on Michigan legislature’s lawsuit against Whitmer
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A Court of Claims judge ruled that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer acted legally when she extended her emergency powers on April 30 under a 1945 law.
The legislature had sued Whitmer on May 6, challenging her authority to unilaterally extend a state of emergency when the lawmakers had declined to grant her authority.
The article goes on to state the following:
Two laws authorize emergency powers: The Emergency Management Act (EMA) of 1976 requires the governor to get legislative approval after 28 days, while the Emergency Powers of Governor Act (EPGA) of 1945, which has no such restraint.
Judge Cynthia Stephens said the 1945 law was constitutional, but that Whitmer exceeded her authority under the EMA by issuing Executive Order No. 2020-68 without legislative approval.
Stephens ruled that the legislature’s challenge Whitmer’s authority to issue executive orders, and to the 1945 law, was “meritless.”
Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) said the challenge over Whitmer’s authority isn’t over yet.
“While we are disappointed by aspects of this determination, we are vindicated in our assertion that the Governor acted unlawfully in attempting to extend the states of emergency and disaster under the Emergency Management Act without legislative approval,” said Shirkey in a statement. “We are confident in our position and will appeal this ruling.”
Whitmer said in a statement:
[The decision] recognizes that the Governor’s actions to save lives are lawful and her orders remain in place.
She will continue to do what she’s always done: take careful, decisive actions to protect Michiganders from this unprecedented, global pandemic.”
This will likely be appealed. Judge Stephens has predicted the case will be going to the MI Supreme Court.
— Adam Brewster (@adam_brew) May 21, 2020
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