New lawsuit challenges Whitmer emergency power

May 22, 2020

Mackinac Center

A conservative legal foundation has filed a new lawsuit challenging Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s ability to issue and enforce emergency orders related go the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Mackinac Center says Whitmer has stretched the meaning of “emergency” to continue to issue new emergency orders. The lawsuit also says she’s claiming the right to use administrative powers that govern workplace rules to enforce those orders. Under her orders, workplace violations carry bigger fines and penalties.

Attorney Patrick Wright says the orders appear designed to discourage dissent by employers.

“We’re trying to clarify very quickly whether this is lawful so that people know what they can do, when they can do it, and how they can do it.” 

A Michigan Court of Claims judge has already rejected a challenge filed by the Legislature’s Republican leaders to how Whitmer has used her emergency powers.