Conservatives across the nation have long argued that Democratic governors in several states went too far in invoking executive orders regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
As revealed in a ruling this week, the Michigan Supreme Court agreed, determining that Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer exceeded her authority through extensions to her initial emergency declaration, as reported by WJRT.
Court finds Whitmer overreached
Whitmer has come under fire in recent months for imposing some of the nation’s tightest lockdowns, which she claimed were warranted in response to the ongoing public health crisis.
Even when some of her fellow Democratic state leaders began reopening their economies, however, she continued to keep the state locked tight.
A 4-3 ruling by the state’s highest court bolstered the position of her critics, striking down all orders Whitmer imposed after the state legislature voted not to extend the lockdown past April 30.
While the decision hinged on the governor’s legal powers and the role of lawmakers in extending such declarations, some critics also noted that Michigan has still seen more than its fair share of coronavirus infections despite the Whitmer-imposed restrictions.
Nevertheless, Whitmer expressed her unequivocal displeasure with the decision.
“A giant win”
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling, handed down by a narrow majority of Republican justices, is deeply disappointing, and I vehemently disagree with the court’s interpretation of the Michigan Constitution,” she stated.
The governor argued that there is currently “some form of declared emergency” in all corners of the U.S., but if the recent ruling is allowed to stand, “Michigan will become the sole outlier at a time when the Upper Peninsula is experiencing rates of COVID infection not seen in our state since April.”
Whitmer went on to “note that this ruling does not take effect for at least 21 days,” adding that her measures would thereafter “continue under alternative sources of authority that were not at issue in today’s ruling.”
For his part, Michigan Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield, a Republican, declared the ruling “a giant win for the people of Michigan and for the democratic process.”
The future of Whitmer’s strict restrictions remains uncertain, but this week’s ruling is a clear roadblock in her path to continued shutdowns across the state.