AG: Whitmer’s emergency orders are enforceable

By: - May 5, 2020 3:48 pm
Dana Nessel

Attorney General Dana Nessel | Andrew Roth

Attorney General Dana Nessel has reviewed two of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s biggest actions to stop the spread of COVID-19 and said Tuesday that they are enforceable.

In a letter to law enforcement, Nessel said the stay-home order in effect until May 15 and the order closing many businesses through May 28 must still be enforced because they are still valid under the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act.

Nessel reviewed the orders because of the “confusion” created when Michigan’s Republican-led Legislature last week declined to extend Michigan’s state of emergency. Instead, both the House and Senate voted to authorize a lawsuit against Whitmer if she extended the state of emergency, which she did on Thursday.

Whitmer first declared the state of emergency on March 10 — the day that Michigan reported its first two COVID-19 cases.

Since then, Republicans have fought against many orders put in place by Whitmer aimed at slowing the spread of the virus, including Executive Order 2020-68, which declares a state of emergency and a state of disaster until May 28.

On Tuesday, Whitmer vetoed a bill passed by the Republican-led Legislature that would have also limited her power to extend the state of emergency and disaster during the COVID-19 pandemic or in the future.

In her letter to law enforcement, Nessel has also asked local agencies across the state to continue their enforcement efforts of Whitmer’s orders.

Nessel said COVID-19 has created a health crisis, adding the most effective way to contain the disease is to keep people away from one another, adding that Whitmer recent orders aim to do just that.

“The absence of these restrictions would open gateways for the virus to reach every family and social network in every part of the State,” said Nessel.

More than 44,000 people in Michigan have contracted COVID-19 and more than 4,100 have died.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Madeline Ciak
Madeline Ciak

Madeline Ciak is a former Michigan Advance reporter. She’s a University of Michigan-Flint graduate and previously worked as a digital media manager at NBC25/FOX66 in Flint and a weekend producer at ABC12.