Confusion Remains as Whitmer, Chatfield React to Executive Order Ruling
Questions remain around Michigan’s fight against COVID-19 after the State Supreme Court ruled against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her executive order power.
Ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Whitmer has used executive orders to enforce new rules and mandates to protect Michiganders across the state.
“Now we’re going to be working together in cooperation to open our state up safely with data and transparency,” Chatfield says. “For the first time in six months.”
Michigan is essentially back to square one.
“We’re studying it to make sure that where we can act we do,” Whitmer says. “Where there are gaps to be filled that we work to do that as well.”
The governor does not have authority to sign executive orders alone anymore, she now needs to agree with the legislature. Right now, the focus is on which of her old orders need to be reestablished.
“The House will be coming back and will be partnering with the Senate and will be in communications with the administration to find a way to reach common ground so we can all fight COVID-19 together,” Chatfield says.
“I also know that they only have a couple of days on the calendar between now and the election,“ Whitmer says. “They may have to rearrange their calendars to get back to Lansing.”
Questions remain, such as when the ruling takes effect. The governor and attorney general say in 21 days, legislature says immediately. The Supreme Court was not clear and has yet to file a clarification.
Which orders will be put back? The Senate has already spoken out against a mask mandate and as her strongest point of contention during the pandemic, Whitmer hoping at this point it doesn’t have to be required.
“It’s on all of us to do our part,” Whitmer says. “To have some personal responsibility to keeping ourselves and our families and our economy going.”
Monday evening, Whitmer released a video on Twitter calling for Michiganders, the Michigan Legislature, the president and Congress to do their part.
In the video below, she also said, “The ruling does not mean that the orders I issued violated the law. Although I disagree with the conclusion, the Court held the law is unconstitutional, meaning the legislature did not have power to pass the law in 1945. In fact, the Court made clear that I interpreted the 1945 law correctly. And the ruling does not mean all of the protections we have put in place will go away. I have additional powers that I will use to protect our families from the spread of this virus.”
COVID-19 didn’t stop being a threat because of the court ruling, because we’re tired of it, or because the legislature left town. We all have to do our part, because when it comes to fighting this virus, we are all in this together. pic.twitter.com/5LQwXO9UYi
— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) October 6, 2020