Nessel will no longer prosecute COVID-19 executive order violations

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — In the wake of Friday’s ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court, Attorney General Dana Nessel says she will no longer prosecute people who violate the governor’s COVID-19 executive orders.

Nessel said her decision is not binding on other law enforcement departments.

On Friday, the Supreme Court declared a 1945 law used by Gov. Gretcher Whitmer in response to the COVID-19 pandemic unconstitutional. The law granted governors in the state unchecked authority. Officials said Whitmer can still use a 1976 law, which gives lawmakers a say in emergency declarations.

Nessel’s office said in a statement that she hopes Michiganders will continue to use common sense to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Whitmer’s office released a statement Sunday, saying she’s willing to work with lawmakers across the aisle to find a common ground, while continuing to do what she can to keep Michigan residents safe from coronavirus.

“When it comes to fighting COVID-19, we are all in this together. The governor is ready to work across the aisle with Republicans in the legislature where we can find common ground, but she won’t let partisan politics get in the way of doing what’s necessary to keep people safe and save lives. The Supreme Court’s ruling raises several legal questions that we are still reviewing. While we are moving swiftly, this transition will take time. As the governor said last week, many of the responsive measures she has put in place to control the spread of the virus will continue under alternative sources of authority that were not at issue in the court’s ruling. We will have more to say on this in the coming days. Make no mistake, Governor Whitmer will continue using every tool at her disposal to keep Michigan families, frontline workers, and small businesses safe from this deadly virus.”