Michigan’s Governor Cannot Indefinitely Maintain Closing Orders
Republican leaders in the Michigan state House and Senate have spent a lot of time the last two weeks closely monitoring the executive orders issued by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The orders have had a massive impact on state residents, their livelihood, their personal schedules, and their businesses. House Speaker Lee Chatfield says he and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey have been in constant contact with the Governor and her staff over the series of orders intended to blunt the impact of COVID-19 throughout Michigan. Chatfield tells the Detroit News the Republican leadership is concerned about unintended consequences of the series of executive orders closing schools, shutting down businesses, and restricting the behaviors of state residents. One thing the GOP legislative leaders are reviewing is the underlying state law allowing a Governor to issue an emergency and then take drastic actions without legislative approval. The law gives a governor 28 days to terminate an emergency. It cannot be extended without legislative approval.
Chatfield tells the News one thing giving him pause is the ban on assemblies of 50 or more people. He says, “The right to assemble is a God-given right that is secured in our constitution and it’s certainly been an issue that I’ve conversed with her and the administration about.”