GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — A chiropractor in western Michigan is challenging the state’s mask rule, saying Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s health department has no authority to make it mandatory.
It’s one of the first lawsuits since the Whitmer administration issued new coronavirus orders following a defeat at the Michigan Supreme Court.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the Court of Claims, claims the health department can regulate gatherings under state law but can’t order masks, which are widely promoted as a way to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Semlow Peak Performance Chiropractic in Grand Haven. The Ottawa County health department told the clinic that it must follow the state order.
“We live in a representative republic and are not ruled by one person,” owner Kirk Semlow said. “My business is not a health threat to anyone, and we take appropriate precautions in providing our services to patients.”
Patients are told that masks are optional, though most wear them, attorney David Kallman said.
“It’s the principle of it,” Kallman said. “They just can’t take a statute, which gives a narrow scope of authority, and apply it in 15 other different ways. Go to the Legislature and get a law passed that says people need to wear masks.”
An email seeking comment was sent to the state health department.