OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic Democrat governors have become drunk with power but the courts have a way of stepping in and putting power hungry dictators in their place.
The Michigan Supreme Court, in a 4 – 3 decision, ruled that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s coronavirus restrictions were an “unlawful delegation of legislative power to the executive branch in violation of the Michigan Constitution,” WOODTV reported.
A 1945 law repeatedly used by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to respond to the coronavirus pandemic was declared unconstitutional Friday by the Michigan Supreme Court, a striking decision that puts months of restrictions in jeopardy while COVID-19 continues to flare up around the state.
The opinion is an extraordinary development in a monthslong conflict between Whitmer, a Democrat, and Republicans who control the Legislature and have complained that they have been shut out of sweeping orders that have impacted education, the economy and health care.
Coincidentally, the court’s action emerged on the same day that Whitmer’s foes submitted more than 539,000 signatures in a bid to repeal the ’45 law.
The governor said the 4-3 decision, with Republican-nominated justices in the majority, was “deeply disappointing.” But Whitmer did not signal that she was giving up. She said her emergency declaration and related orders still can remain in place for 21 days, and then many of them will continue “under alternative sources” of law.
“Accordingly, the executive orders issued by the Governor in response to the Covid-19 pandemic now lack any basis under Michigan law,” the justices said, CNN reported.
The governor has hinted that she will use public health statutes like those given by the state’s health commission, as she condemned the ruling.
“Since the beginning of this crisis, I have done everything in my power to protect our seniors, small businesses, and first responders from the worst public health emergency in over a century. Thanks to the hard work of millions of Michiganders who sacrificed and did the right thing, we have saved thousands of lives and laid the foundation for a strong economic recovery. But COVID-19 still poses a clear and present danger to the people of Michigan, our economy, and our way of life,” she said in a press release.
“This virus has now killed more Michiganders than World War I. It is a novel virus for which there is no cure, and which has infected the President of the United States, members of the United States Congress, and Legislators across our state. This virus continues to take the lives of Americans every single day, and without a cure or approved vaccine, that will continue for the foreseeable future.
“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. Right now, every state and the federal government have some form of declared emergency. With this decision, Michigan will become the sole outlier at a time when the Upper Peninsula is experiencing rates of COVID infection not seen in our state since April.
“It is important to note that this ruling does not take effect for at least 21 days, and until then, my emergency declaration and orders retain the force of law. Furthermore, after 21 days, many of the responsive measures I have put in place to control the spread of the virus will continue under alternative sources of authority that were not at issue in today’s ruling.
“I know this is hard. We all want this crisis to be over, and we all want life to return to normal as soon as possible. But the only way we will get through this is by pulling together as Americans and working as one nation to defeat this virus. That means wearing a mask, washing your hands frequently, and maintaining six feet of physical distancing. Michiganders have grit, and there is no challenge we can’t meet,” she said.