Michigan Supreme Court ruling against Gov. Whitmer’s virus order: What happens next?

Officials say orders remain in effect for at least 21 days

Michigan Supreme Court rules against Gov. Whimer on emergency powers; will remain in effect for 21 days

LANSING, Mich. – Since the end of April, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been making decisions under the power granted to her by the Emergency Powers of Governor Act of 1945.

But the state Supreme Court’s 107-page opinion says no more.

“They certainly decided the 1945 law is unconstitutional, but it’s not simple in terms of its implementation,” said Brig. Gen. Mike McDaniel, associate dean of Western Michigan University’s Cooley Law School and specializes in homeland and national security law.

McDaniel said until the previous federal judge rolls the decision into a court order, nothing has changed.

“It’s going to be 21 days after there’s a final order that these will have any legal effect at all,” McDaniel said. “If you’re thinking to yourself ‘I don’t have to wear a mask anymore or we can crowd into bars,' or if you’re at a restaurant saying, ‘I can go back to 100 percent capacity,’ that’s not so."

“Be certain that none of us believe that there’s no more virus. That’s not what this means,” said Michigan Rep. Jason Sheppard (MI-56).

Whenever the specific orders are rolled back, state Republicans like Sheppard said it will be good for everyone to have a say in how Michigan handles its fight against the coronavirus.

"I think most people in Michigan would have to agree that there should be some process. I don’t think that anybody is comfortable just one person making all unilateral decisions from now until an identify time.

Whitmer released a statement in response to the ruling, as well as Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband and Michigan U.S. Attorneys Matthew Schneider and Andrew Birge.

About the Author:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.