Whitmer slams Supreme Court ruling, warns orders could continue

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday slammed a Michigan Supreme Court decision saying she lacked the authority to issue emergency orders past April 30 without the support of the Legislature. 

Whitmer called the 4-3 ruling “deeply disturbing” and a conclusion with which she “vehemently disagreed. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

The ruling found Whitmer had no authority to extend her emergency declaration past April 30 under the 1976 Emergency Management Act, which contained a 28-day time limit without the approval of the Legislature. 

The justices also found the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act was unconstitutional because it unlawfully transferred powers unique to the legislative branch to the executive branch.

Nearly every state in the nation is under some form of emergency, making Michigan an “outlier” in the United States even as case rates rise in the Upper Peninsula, Whitmer said. 

“I want the people of Michigan to know that no matter what happens, I will never stop fighting to keep you and your families safe from this deadly virus,” the governor said. 

She warned the court order doesn’t take effect for another 21 days and some of the measures put in place to control the virus can continue under “alternative sources of authority not at issue in today’s ruling.”

The Department of Health and Human Services has issued several complementary or similar orders that resemble Whitmer’s executive orders that seem to be unaffected by the ruling. 

“I know this is hard,” Whitmer said. “We all want this crisis to be over, and we all want life to return to normal as soon as possible. But the only way we will get through this is by pulling together as Americans and working as one nation to defeat this virus.”