Attorney General Nessel Will No Longer Enforce Executive Orders Through Criminal Prosecution

The legal battle over Gov. Whitmer’s emergency powers continues.

Attorney General Dana Nessel released a statement on how her office will handle the governor’s executive orders moving forward.

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled against Whitmer on Friday, but that ruling was requested by a federal district judge, so the Supreme Court ruling doesn’t have much immediate impact. The state’s Republican-led legislature wants a say in the length of her powers, but the governor says a 1945 law gives her the power to continue the state of emergency indefinitely.

Sunday, the attorney general said this:

“In light of the Supreme Court’s decision on Friday, the Attorney General will no longer enforce the Governor’s Executive Orders through criminal prosecution. However, her decision is not binding on other law enforcement agencies or state departments with independent enforcement authority. It’s her fervent hope that people continue to abide by the measures that Governor Whitmer put in place – like wearing face masks, adhering to social distancing requirements and staying home when sick – since they’ve proven effective at saving lives. If it weren’t for the Governor’s actions, countless more of our friends, family and neighbors would have been lost to COVID-19. We can respect both the court’s decision and the advice of medical experts by continuing with these important measures voluntarily.”

The reference to other law agencies includes county sheriff’s offices.

Oakland County, near Detroit, recently mandated wearing a mask in public despite the Supreme Court’s decision.

Categories: Coronavirus