Now that we have officially turned the calendar from September to October, those of us who live in the Great Lakes State are not just watching the race for President but also on the Michigan State Supreme Court to issue a ruling on the power the Governor has under the Michigan Constitution. Michigans’ top court heard arguments back on Septemeber 9th regarding the unlimited Executive Order power the Governor has claimed under 1945 law that was passed after a race riot in Detroit. Another law was passed in 1976 that also gives the Governor emergency powers but requires legislative approval to continue after 28 days.
Leave it to politicians to make a mess out of laws passed.
Here is a refresher from last month’s court arguments courtesy of the Detroit Free Press…
A justice of the Michigan Supreme Court raised pointed and repeated questions Wednesday about whether the 1945 emergency law relied on by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was ever intended to deal with a health pandemic.
Justice David Viviano pressed the issue during oral arguments, pointing out that the Emergency Powers of Governor Act was enacted in the wake of Detroit’s 1943 race riot, as it is known, and was referenced in news reports at the time as providing the governor with the police powers needed to respond to such events without having to declare martial law.
The 1945 law says it is intended to “invest the governor with sufficiently broad power of action in the exercise of the police power of the state.”
Viviano also said that the emergency powers governors are using in most other states to address the coronavirus pandemic are public health statutes, and Michigan has similar provisions in its public health code to address pandemics, which have existed for a century or longer. In fact, he said, some of those orders have been issued during the coronavirus pandemic by the director of the Department of Health and Human Services, though those orders appear redundant to emergency orders issues by Whitmer.
That the legislature didn’t have the vision to realize that the 1945 law could be used to supersede the law crafted and passed in 1976 is maddening and leaves us where we are waiting anxiously for this ruling from the court.
Governor Whitmer on April 30th technically ran out of her final extension from the legislature but has continued issuing them with zeal. She has in total passed over 180 executive orders which have ranged from where you can buy gardening supplies from, who you can golf with, and other trivial things. Her biggest mess up was following New Yorks lead with shoving COVID recovering patients into nursing homes willy nilly which has been proven to be a disaster.
No Governor should ever be given the unlimited authority that Whiter has claimed she has here. Essentially the Michigan Legislature ( both chambers currently under Republican control ) have been sidelined effectively on COVID-related matters since March 10th. That means in just a few short days Michigan will have been under the Executive Order thumb of one person and one person alone for seven months.
Some marriages don’t last that long today.
Hopefully, the court rules in favor of one person not holding so much power for an unlimited amount of time with zero checks and balances and I hope they do it soon.