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Governor files motion on court ruling

Governor files motion on court ruling

By Bruce Walker—The Center Square

(The Center Square) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer filed a motion Monday requesting the Michigan Supreme Court clarify when its ruling nullifying her COVID-19 executive orders issued after April 30 takes effect.

In her motion seeking clarification for the Supreme Court’s decision, issued last Friday, Whitmer claims the ruling does not take effect for at least 28 days.

On Friday, she had stated her executive orders retained the force of law for 21 days.

The Supreme Court struck down the statute under which the governor has issued executive orders for over 200 days.

Whitmer claims an immediate ruling effect would cause up to 830,000 Michigan workers to lose unemployment benefits and cause confusion for the other orders she’s issued.

“The Supreme Court has spoken, and while I vehemently disagree with their ruling, I’m ready to work across the aisle with Republicans in the legislature where we can find common ground to slow the spread of the virus and rebuild our economy,” Whitmer said in a statement.

“It’s time for Republicans in the Legislature to get to work and start showing that they are taking this crisis seriously. They can start by canceling their October recess and getting back to work. Let’s work together and get this done.”

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon said the ruling raises legal questions and needs time to transition.

“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,” Gordon said in a statement.

“The same is true for our department. We will use every statutory tool available to protect our state employees and the residents we serve. We also need Michiganders to do their part by wearing a mask, maintaining six feet of physical distancing, washing hands frequently, and getting their flu vaccine. We will get through this together.”

The Michigan Supreme Court Friday unanimously agreed Whitmer lacked authority to extend her state of emergency past April 30 without approval from the GOP-controlled legislature.

Whitmer contends her powers are still active, but in the meantime, local health departments are issuing orders.

In a July 29 executive order, Gordon cited a 1978 law, saying “Every person in this state must comply with the rules, procedures, and restrictions outlined in EO 2020-153, EO 2020-160, and EO 2020-161” – all orders issued after April 30.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s Press Secretary Ryan Jarvi, citing the Friday ruling, said they “will no longer enforce the Governor’s Executive Orders through criminal prosecution.”

“However, her decision is not binding on other law enforcement agencies or state departments with independent enforcement authority,” Jarvi said in a statement.

“It’s her fervent hope that people continue to abide by the measures that Governor Whitmer put in place – like wearing face masks, adhering to social distancing requirements and staying home when sick – since they’ve proven effective at saving lives.”

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