Michigan governor to be stripped of emergency powers used for COVID-19 rules

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will be stripped of emergency powers she used during the coronavirus pandemic

Per Washington Examiner:

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will be stripped of emergency powers she used during the coronavirus pandemic after a 76-year-old law was repealed Wednesday.

The GOP-led state House followed the Senate's lead on Wednesday in voting 60-48, largely along party lines, to support an Unlock Michigan petition seeking to eliminate the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945.

Whitmer, a Democrat, is unable to issue a veto after the state Supreme Court determined the law was unconstitutional. The repeal will not take effect until 91 days after the Legislature adjourns at the end of the year.

The Washington Examiner reached out to the governor's office for comment.

"The Michigan House approved the Unlock Michigan citizens' initiative to repeal the unconstitutional 1945 state law Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used to hold unilateral power over the people of Michigan during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your voices have been heard!" Michigan House Republicans tweeted following the vote.

The "measure protects the fundamental structure of representation in government and is a win for democracy," said state Rep. Sue Allor.

"When Gov. Whitmer decided to go it alone during the pandemic, her orders left struggling people in their wake," added state Rep. Ken Borton, who also supported the petition. "A solo approach was clearly wrong for our state. A governor must work with legislators to discover real solutions that work for everyone, and Unlock Michigan will help protect the people by protecting the legislative process."

Democrats slammed the repeal effort, with state Rep. Mari Manoogian calling Unlock Michigan's petition a "partisan political power grab aimed at undermining Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her effort to manage the COVID-19 pandemic."

"This initiated law will cripple the ability of governors from both parties to act quickly and decisively during public health emergencies, which will ultimately cost lives," she continued, accusing the House of "reckless lawmaking."

The House Democratic whip accused fellow lawmakers of "pretend[ing] the GOP-led legislature was proactive in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic."

"We are actively being gaslighted by our GOP colleagues during this Unlock Michigan debate," state Rep. Matt Koleszar said.

Michigan's Senate approved the petition in a 20-15 party-line vote last week after the Unlock Michigan petition amassed 34,000 signatures supporting the repeal of the Emergency Powers of Governor Act, which enabled Whitmer's emergency actions.

The petition was certified in a unanimous June 11 ruling from the Michigan Supreme Court.

Although supporters of Whitmer said the governor's actions were necessary to save lives as COVID-19 spread throughout the state, detractors who signed the petition argued her actions were a "dangerous threat to our livelihoods and constitutional liberties."

Whitmer imposed rigorous restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, including restricting travel and implementing a statewide mask mandate.

Michigan has recorded more than 1 million cases of COVID-19 and 21,124 statewide deaths attributed to the disease, according to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracker.