Michigan’s Supreme Court said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s coronavirus executive restrictions violated the state’s constitution.
On Friday, the state’s high court ruled in a 4-3 decision that the Democratic governor did not have the power to continue its restrictions under two laws passed in 1976 and 1945, describing the act as an “unlawful delegation of legislative power to the executive branch in violation of the Michigan Constitution.”
“Accordingly, the executive orders issued by the Governor in response to the COVID-19 pandemic now lack any basis under Michigan law,” the ruling reads.
It notes a wide variety of businesses that had to close as a result of the orders, including “restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, bars, taverns, brew pubs, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, clubs, hookah bars, cigar bars, vaping lounges, barbershops, hair salons, nail salons, tanning salons, tattoo parlors, schools, churches, theaters, cinemas, libraries, museums, gymnasiums, fitness centers, public swimming pools, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios, spas, casinos, and racetracks.”
“These policies exhibit a sweeping scope, both with regard to the subjects covered and the power exercised over those subjects.Indeed, they rest on an assertion of power to reorder social life and to limit, if not altogether displace, the livelihoods of residents across the state and throughout wide-ranging industries,” the ruling continues.
In a Friday statement, Whitmer criticized the state Supreme Court decision and told the public that her orders still stand for 21 days and retain “the force of law.”
“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 said, later adding, “I want the people of Michigan to know that no matter what happens, I will never stop fighting to keep you and your families safe from this deadly virus.”