Michigan Supreme Court: Gov. Whitmer’s COVID orders no longer in effect

MDHHS has already replaced many of Whitmer’s orders

In a photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich., Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. The governor delivered remarks addressing Michiganders after the Michigan Attorney General, Michigan State Police, U.S. Department of Justice, and FBI announced state and federal charges against 13 members of two militia groups who were preparing to kidnap and possibly kill the governor. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP) (Uncredited)

DETROIT – The Michigan Supreme Court has denied the state’s request for a transition window for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s pandemic orders after her powers were struck down earlier this month.

On Oct. 2, the court ruled that a 1945 law that Gov. Whitmer was drawing from to issue orders was unconstitutional. The ruling created confusion around whether or not her orders were still in effect for a short period after the ruling. At the time, Whitmer’s office claimed the orders would remain in effect for 21 days.

On Oct. 5, Gov. Whitmer asked the court to clarify, suggesting the state needed a transition period. But on Monday, the court denied the motion, ruling Whitmer’s orders are no longer in effect.

MDHHS issues orders

Since the court ruling, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has started issuing its own emergency orders, much of them mirroring Gov. Whitmer’s previous orders.

MDHHS is issuing this order under the authority enacted by legislators Spanish Flu of 1918, which specifically pertains to epidemics.

Last Friday, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon issued the new order to restrict gathering sizes, require face masks in public spaces and childcare facilities, limit capacity in businesses and create safer workplaces, officials announced.

“Our goal is to maintain policies that have made a drastic difference in the fight against COVID-19,” Gordon said. “Cases are rising, and the science is clear. Masks reduce the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing reduces the spread of COVID-19. Public action is critical to saving Michiganders' lives.”

Read more: Michigan health officials issue coronavirus regulations mirroring Gov. Whitmer’s previous orders

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Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.