US Politics

Michigan Judge Hears Arguments Over Stay-Home Orders

DETROIT—Republicans who control the Michigan Legislature urged a judge Friday to strike down stay-home orders and other restrictions related to the CCP virus, saying Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer trampled their authority in determining statewide emergencies.

The clash in Michigan is the latest between Democratic governors who have shut down businesses and ordered people to stay home in response to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus, and conservatives who believe the steps are excessive.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court this week ruled against Gov. Tony Evers administration, clearing the way for bars and restaurants to reopen.

Tony Evers
Tony Evers
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in his Statehouse office in Madison, Wis., on Dec. 4, 2019. (Scott Bauer/AP Photo)

The dispute in Michigan centers on two laws: a 1976 statute that gives the Legislature a role in emergency declarations after 28 days, and another from 1945 that grants broad authority to governors.

The House and Senate, which are controlled by Republicans, did not extend Whitmers disaster emergency declaration in late April but she acted anyway.

The 1945 law cited by the governor was aimed at local emergencies, not statewide virus outbreaks, said attorney Michael R. Williams, arguing on behalf of lawmakers.

Whitmer “suggested that the (emergency) conditions would not end until such time as a vaccination has been created. That would mean wed be talking 2021, 2022, perhaps later,” Williams said. “At other times, shes talked about the economic consequences of the disaster. … We would be talking about the exercise of executive power with no legislative input for a period of years.”

whitmer michigan governor
whitmer michigan governor
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Michigan, on April 13, 2020. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP)

Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens seemed to pick up that point. She challenged the governors lawyer by asking if Whitmer could declare an emergency for her entire term and keep the Legislature on the sideline.

“The governor cant just declare an emergency if she feels like it. The conditions have to exist, and that is undisputed,” Chris Allen of the attorney generals office said.

Later, he said theres no “blank check.”

“Public emergencies, whether its a pandemic or a flood or some kind of other local or statewide response—they demand broad authority, not narrow nitpicking,” Allen said. “The orders issued pursuant to the governors declaration need only be reasonable and directed at being necessary to bringing the emergency under control, necessary to protecting life and property.”

Meanwhile, confirmed virus cases in Michigan passed 50,000 and deaths rose slightly to 4,825, the health department said Friday. Tens of thousands of people have recovered since March.Read More From Source

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The Epoch Times

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