News Bite

Judge Says Whitmer Wrong: Unilateral Governance Ended With Supreme Court Ruling

Governor claims she gets a three-week extension on executive order powers

Aaron Gauthier is the chief judge of Michigan's 53rd Circuit Court in Cheboygan County.

Gauthier challenged Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s claim that her coronavirus epidemic executive orders remain valid for another 21 days even after the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that they are illegal and unconstitutional.

Gauthier posted on Facebook: “Just an FYI on the effect of Supreme Court opinions. The Governor’s claim that her unconstitutional executive orders are still law for 21 days is incorrect. The 21 days she is referring to has to do with when a judgment is entered in the particular case before the Court, and when the deadline is to file a motion for rehearing. But the legal rule announced by the Supreme Court in an opinion is the law of the State of Michigan the moment it is announced. For example, if the Court held in an opinion that it was unconstitutional for the police to search your car without a warrant, the police couldn’t say, ‘well, we can still conduct unconstitutional and illegal searches for 21 more days.’ The citizenry would rightly be outraged. It is similarly outrageous for the Governor to claim that she can continue to violate the constitution for another 21 days. Every single judge in the State of Michigan is legally obligated to follow the Supreme Court’s opinion as of this moment forward.”

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.