Governor’s Emergency Powers Upheld by Court of Appeals
The Michigan Court of Appeals has upheld Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency powers and denied the legal challenge from the State Legislature.
On a 2-1 vote, the Court said the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act gives Whitmer the ability to declare emergencies and take actions in response without lawmakers' approval. The court also ruled Friday that the law itself doesn't violate the separation of powers in government.
State House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, appeared undaunted, tweeting “We will now go to the MSC” (Michigan Supreme Court)
The legal battle involves two state laws. A 1945 law appears to allow the governor to declare an emergency and keep it in place without the Legislature's input. But a 1976 law allows the governor to declare an emergency but requires the Legislature's approval after 28 days. Some legal experts have said the courts should interpret the law on the whole, but Judges Kirsten Frank Kelly and Jane Markey did not agree. Judge Jonathan Tukel dissented. Tukel argued that the 1976 law, which has the 28-day deadline, specifically applies to the COVID-19 pandemic because it references an "epidemic."