Unlock Michigan’s Initiative To Repeal Emergency Powers of Governor Act of 1945 Passes In The House
I have been speaking about this issue for quite a long time. In fact, the first piece I wrote about it was back in July of 2020. Last August I wrote:
“When Whitmer accuses people of using “unscrupulous measures” when attempting to repeal the Emergency Powers Act that she believes gives her dictatorial control over the entire state, that tells me she is concerned, perhaps very concerned.
The group collecting the signatures to repeal Michigan's Emergency Powers of Governor Act, 1945 is called Unlock Michigan. The group needs to collect more than 340,000 valid signatures to submit the petition to the Legislature.”
A year later with thirteen pieces written and a number of interviews with Unlock Michigan’s spokesperson Fred Wzolek, their initiative has been passed by the Senate last week and the House today and the petition is officially passed.
Last week the Michigan Senate voted to approve the petition 20-15 with all Senate Democrats voting against the petition. Today Michigan’s House voted to approve the petition 60-48 to approve the petition. Four House Democrats joined the entire Republican caucus approving the petition. Those Democrats are Reps. Sara Cambensy, D-Marquette, Tim Sneller, D-Burton, Karen Whitsett, D-Detroit, and Rep. Richard Steenland of Roseville.
Rep. Cambensy, D-Marquette stated:
"The Legislature makes the laws. The court interprets them. And it would be inappropriate for this body not to respect the (Supreme Court) ruling…It’s time to move on. It's time to work together on a law that clearly defines how we will deal with the pandemic going forward."
She is exactly right, wish more elected Democrats thought as she did on this issue. She did urge her fellow elected politicians to find a replacement for the 1945 law, there is one it is called the Emergency Management Act of 1976. If you believe that law needs to be more robust then debate it and amend it. This is not a Democrat or Republican issue this is a Michigan issue. The power currently resides in the office of the Governor, not a person.
It is very interesting that no Senate Democrats and all but 4 House Democrats did not approve the petition that just last October the Michigan Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that the 1945 law is unconstitutional. In their ruling, they stated that the 1945 law shifted the power inappropriately from the legislative branch to the executive branch.
Why wouldn’t the elected Michigan Democrats want to repeal a Michigan law that the Michigan Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional?
Does that mean the Michigan state Democrat Senators and all but 4 Representatives believe in keeping unconstitutional laws on the books? It certainly appears that way short of a better answer.
The Detroit News reported that Fred Wszolek, the spokesman for Unlock Michigan stated:
“We're grateful to the members of the House and Senate who stood with the people of Michigan, and we're grateful for their help in repealing the misguided 1945 law that caused so much pain once and for all”
Since the Michigan Senate did not approve the measure to take immediate effect last week the repeal won’t officially come off the law books until 2022.