News Story

Whitmer's Government 0-for-3 Before Supreme Court Defending One-Person Governance

High Court ruled executive branch can't take legislative branch powers

The executive branch of Michigan’s state government is now 0-for-3 before the state Supreme Court in defending Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s one-person government by emergency declaration and executive order.

On Oct. 12, the state Supreme Court ruled 4-3 in favor of a challenge authorized by the Michigan Legislature of Whitmer’s ongoing governance by executive order, referring to its Oct. 3 order in a similar case for its rationale. In that case, the court held that a 1945 law Whitmer cited to support her executive orders was unconstitutional because essentially it had no time limit on how long she could rule unilaterally.

The earlier case was brought by the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation on behalf of three health care clinics and a patient harmed by executive orders restricting medical procedures. On Oct. 3, the Supreme Court also ruled 7-0 that Whitmer’s reliance on a 1976 emergency management law for her executive order authority was subject to legislative consent, which had ended April 30.

The state’s first loss before the Supreme Court on Whitmer’s emergency governance occurred in June and came in favor of Owosso barber Karl Manke. The Supreme Court ruled 7-0 against the Department of Health and Human Services. The Supreme Court held in that case that the Appeals Court did not follow the law in trying to shut down Manke’s barber shop under authority of one of Whitmer’s executive orders.

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.