Court Deciding On Legality Of Whitmer's State Of Emergency Declaration In Michigan

May 18, 2020

(FILE) Flag-waving, honking protesters drove past the Michigan Capitol on Wednesday to show their displeasure with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's orders to keep people at home and businesses locked during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Credit Paul Sancya / AP / File

A Michigan Court of Claims judge could decide as soon as this week whether the state of emergency declared by Governor Whitmer is invalid.

Whitmer used that declaration to continue stay at home policies on grounds that Michigan is still in the midst of a public health emergency.

State Republican lawmakers sued the governor…arguing it’s the legislature that has the authority to extend a state of emergency.

During oral arguments last week…the attorney representing the legislature – Michael Williams – said divorcing lawmakers from any say in emergencies…would grant a governor almost limit-less authority.

“The governor accuses the legislature of creating a constitutional crisis on top of a public health crisis. But it’s the governor’s broad efforts and the governor’s broad application of the statute that in fact creates the constitutional crisis,” Williams says.

Judge Cynthia Stephens says she’ll make a decision after examining a transcript of the arguments.

But she predicts the case will ultimately be decided by the Michigan Supreme Court