What Does MI Supreme Court Ruling on Governor’s Powers Mean?

Lawyer Involved in the lawsuit breaks ruling down.

The Michigan Supreme Court ruling on the governor’s powers has left many of us with unanswered questions.

Northern Michigan’s News Leader looked to answer some of them Monday. 10 05 2020 Legal Sidebar Vo 6

“I do want people to be as safe as possible, I also want what the governor does to be constitutional,” said Patrick Wright, director of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation and vice president for legal affairs at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

They were involved in the lawsuit that sparked the decision from the state’s highest court.

Wright says the decision goes into effect immediately and impacts all the executive orders.

“All of those are null and void, however, she’s trying to do some similar things under other statues,” Wright says. “That is still questionable as to whether or not entirely legal.”

Things like a mask mandate from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and orders from local health departments.

“There is still going to be more litigation on this, the questions are not all resolved for all time,” Wright says.

One thing is certain, the state’s top cop says her office will no longer enforce executive orders with criminal prosecution.

In a statement, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office says the decision “is not binding on other law enforcement agencies or state departments with independent enforcement authority.”

Nessel’s office adds she hopes people will continue to abide by measures like wearing masks and social distancing.

“Nobody out there is going to enforce it, the AG isn’t, the sheriff isn’t, the prosecutors aren’t, the courts aren’t,” Wright says.

But businesses no longer requiring masks may still face different penalties.

“MIOSHA might give you a different answer than a local sheriff, because MIOSHA is under the governor’s control,” Wright says.

Gov. Whitmer has asked the court to allow the orders to temporality be in effect for 28 days to give time for them to sort things out.

Until the court rules further, or the legislature and the governor come to an agreement, some questions will remain unanswered.

Categories: Coronavirus