Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer won in court on Thursday against Republican lawmakers who sued her over her authority to declare emergencies and order sweeping restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.
The lawsuit stems from the frustration that the House and Senate expressed with Whitmer’s approach towards stopping the spread of the coronavirus by keeping residents across the state at home and shutting down businesses.
According to the Associated Press, the Legislature refused to extend Whitmer’s emergency declaration in late April. However, that did not stop her from acting anyway, which the Legislature claims violates a 1976 law, which states that lawmakers get a role in emergency declarations after 28 days. While the judge did agree that the governor is not permitted to use that law to extend emergencies without input from lawmakers, he still ruled in Whitmer’s favor.
Whitmer was pleased with the decision and is planning to continue doing whatever is necessary to protect the residents of Michigan.
“She will continue to do what she’s always done: take careful, decisive actions to protect Michiganders from this unprecedented, global pandemic,” Whitmer’s office said in a written statement.
Whitmer has made some effort to ease stay at home orders, as fewer cases and deaths have been reported. Bars and restaurants in northern Michigan have been given the green light to reopen Friday morning, and the ban on certain medical procedures is expected to be lifted next week. Groups of 10 people are also now allowed to gather.
The House and Senate are planning to appeal the ruling.