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US Michigan court strikes down governor's emergency Covid powers

05:05  03 october  2020
05:05  03 october  2020 Source:   cnn.com

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The Michigan Supreme Court on Friday struck down a 1945 law that Gov. Michigan Supreme Court rules against @GovWhitmer' s use of 1945 emergency powers law in # COVID 19 pandemic The Court concluded the Emergency Powers of Governor Act: …is in violation of the Constitution of

A Michigan Court of Claims judge sided with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday, claiming the law In the hearing the judge asked the Legislature lawyer if there is a second wave of COVID -19 in the fall The Legislature attorney said a 1945 Emergency Powers Act was for local emergencies , not

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled Friday that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had no authority to issue or renew executive orders relating to Covid-19 beyond April 30.

a close up of Gretchen Whitmer in a blue shirt: HAMTRAMCK, MI - JANUARY 27: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer stands on stage at an event where General Motors announced that GMs Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant will build the all-electric Cruise Origin self-driving shuttle on January 27, 2020 in Hamtramck, Michigan. GM will invest $2.2 billion at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant and 2200 jobs for an all-electric future for electric pickups, SUVs, and autonomous vehicles. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images) © Bill Pugliano/Getty Images HAMTRAMCK, MI - JANUARY 27: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer stands on stage at an event where General Motors announced that GMs Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant will build the all-electric Cruise Origin self-driving shuttle on January 27, 2020 in Hamtramck, Michigan. GM will invest $2.2 billion at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant and 2200 jobs for an all-electric future for electric pickups, SUVs, and autonomous vehicles. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

The Democratic governor extended the state's coronavirus emergency declaration by executive order April 30 after the Republican-controlled Legislature advanced a bill that would not have renewed the original declaration.

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(AP) — Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer' s emergency declarations and orders to curb the coronavirus clearly fall within the scope of her powers , the state's appeals court ruled “A declared statewide emergency only ends upon the governor ’ s declaration that the emergency no longer exists.

The governor acknowledged the pain but said the restrictions were necessary to stop the spread of the Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked Whitmer, a popular Democratic governor , in recent days as she has requested emergency medical supplies for Michigan . “That’ s how Covid -19 spreads.”

Whitmer cited the Emergency Management Act of 1976 (EMA) and the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945 (EPGA) as authority, with two lower courts subsequently dismissing legal challenges to her actions.

But the Michigan Supreme Court Friday ruled that Gov. Whitmer did not possess the authority under the EMA to re-declare a state of emergency or disaster based on the pandemic and that the EPGA was an "unlawful delegation of legislative power to the executive branch in violation of the Michigan Constitution."

"Accordingly, the executive orders issued by the Governor in response to the Covid-19 pandemic now lack any basis under Michigan law," the justices' opinion reads.

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A Michigan judge sided with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and said her shelter-in-place order doesn't infringe on residents' "Although the Court is painfully aware of the difficulties of living under the restrictions of these As of Thursday, Michigan has 40,399 confirmed COVID -19 cases and 3,670 related deaths

Michigan Supreme Court . One Court of Justice. Certified Questions from the U. S . District Court for the Western District of Michigan , MSC No. 161492, In re Certified Questions (Midwest Inst of Health v Governor ). Click link for the judicial branch' s response to the COVID -19 outbreak.

Whitmer issued a statement condemning the ruling.

"Today's Supreme Court ruling, handed down by a narrow majority of Republican justices, is deeply disappointing, and I vehemently disagree with the court's interpretation of the Michigan Constitution," she said. "Right now, every state and the federal government have some form of declared emergency. With this decision, Michigan will become the sole outlier at a time when the Upper Peninsula is experiencing rates of Covid infection not seen in our state since April."

As of Friday night, Michigan had reported 139,996 cases of coronavirus and 7,110 deaths, according to John Hopkins University.

Whitmer noted that the court's ruling would not take effect for at least 21 days and that her emergency declaration and orders would remain in place until then.

She stressed that the coronavirus pandemic remains a clear danger: "This virus has now killed more Michiganders than World War I. It is a novel virus for which there is no cure, and which has infected the President of the United States, members of the United States Congress, and Legislators across our state.

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The governor , unfazed, responded with orders stating under one law that an emergency still exists, while declaring a new 28-day state of emergency Tyrone Carter, a Detroit Democrat who recovered from COVID -19. “That means ensuring that our governor has the emergency powers necessary to

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has struck down Gov. The state’ s highest court sided with Republican lawmakers Wednesday in a decision that curbed Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ power to act unilaterally during public health emergencies .

"This virus continues to take the lives of Americans every single day, and without a cure or approved vaccine, that will continue for the foreseeable future."

In a footnote in the court's decision, written by Justice Stephen Markman, the court said, "Our decision leaves open many avenues for the Governor and Legislature to work together to address this challenge and we hope that this will take place."

The Michigan Supreme Court issued its opinion at the request of the US District Court for the Western District of Michigan.

The district court had asked the justices "to resolve questions concerning the constitutional and legal authority of the Governor to issue executive orders over the past six months limiting public and private gatherings, closing and imposing restrictions upon certain businesses, and regulating a broad variety of other aspects of the day-to-day lives of our state's citizens in an effort to contain the spread of this contagious and sometimes deadly disease."

It followed a lawsuit filed by three medical centers against Whitmer in federal court challenging her executive order that prohibited nonessential procedures during the pandemic.

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Michigan governor faces criticism amid COVID -19 response. A Change.org petition with more than 187,000 signatures called for the recall of Gov. A group of men identifying themselves as members of the Michigan Liberty Militia walked up and down the sidewalk outside the capitol building carrying rifles.

– The Wisconsin Supreme Court has struck down Gov. With no COVID -19 policies in place, bars, restaurants and concert halls are allowed to reopen — unless local officials implement The majority concluded Evers has broader powers during emergencies but stressed that those powers have limits.

Previous court cases

In May, a Michigan judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Republican leaders of the state's Legislature challenging Whitmer's use of emergency powers to extend Michigan's state of emergency.

Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Diane Stephens ruled that while Whitmer's action of re-declaring the same emergency violated the provisions of the state's Emergency Management Act, the Legislature's challenges to Whitmer's use of the Emergency Powers of Governor Act to issue executive orders are meritless.

Stephens wrote May 21 that "through two distinct acts, stated in plain and certain terms, the Legislature has granted the governor broad but focused authority to respond to emergencies that affect the state and its people."

On August 21, the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld that ruling, saying:

"Proceeding on the assumption that the Legislature had standing to file suit, we hold that the Governor's declaration of a state of emergency, her extensions of the state of emergency, and her issuance of related EOs clearly fell within the scope of the Governor's authority under the EPGA. We further hold that the EPGA does not violate the Separation of Powers Clause. We therefore decline to address whether the Governor was additionally authorized to take those same measures under the EMA and whether the Governor violated the EMA—those matters are moot.

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"Finally, we hold that there is no basis to reverse the order of the Court of Claims denying the motion to intervene."

Backlash over governor's orders

Whitmer, who announced a state lockdown in March and lifted it in June, has faced a backlash regarding her closure orders.

In April, protesters carrying firearms descended on Michigan's Capitol to pressure the governor to issue more relaxed measures.

President Donald Trump has attacked Whitmer, a first-term governor, in personal terms over her criticism of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

In May, Michigan's attorney general sent a warning to Ford for allowing Trump to refuse to wear a mask in front of cameras during his visit to a manufacturing plant in the state.

In July, Whitmer called for a "national mask-up campaign," saying it was necessary for everyone, even those in the White House, to wear masks to stem the spread of coronavirus.

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