Trump: Ruling that limits Whitmer's emergency powers is 'big win' for Michigan

Paul Egan
Detroit Free Press

LANSING — Friday's Michigan Supreme Court ruling that struck down an emergency law used by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is "a big win" for the state, President Donald Trump said in a Wednesday morning tweet.

"We just got a BIG win for the people of Michigan," Trump said, retweeting a news item about the ruling.

"Open up your Churches and your Schools. Auto companies pouring in and expanding (thank you Mr. President!). Have fun!"

President Donald J. Trump and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Trump has generally spurned mask wearing and recently tested positive for COVID-19, as have a growing cluster of White House officials.

Whitmer's orders never closed churches. Schools are operating under a mix of in-person and remote learning under a law approved by the GOP-controlled Legislature.

Whitmer shot back at Trump later Wednesday morning.

"Mr. President, millions of hardworking Americans are relying on you for a COVID-19 relief package," she said on Twitter. "Get to work."

The court ruled 4-3 that the Emergency Powers of Governor Act of 1945, which Whitmer has been using as the major legal underpinning for her emergency orders related to the coronavirus pandemic, is unconstitutional in its entirety because it unlawfully cedes powers that belong with the Legislature to the governor.

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The court also unanimously ruled that under the Emergency Management Act of 1976, Whitmer cannot maintain a state of emergency beyond 28 days without legislative approval. That approval expired at the end of April, and has not been renewed.

The full effects of the ruling remain unclear, and Whitmer has asked the court to clarify whether it takes effect immediately, or in 28 days.

In the meantime, her state health department has relied on a different statute to fully or partially replicate several of her emergency orders that were struck down, including ones requiring face coverings and limiting the size of gatherings.

Contact Paul Egan: 517-372-8660 or pegan@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @paulegan4Read more on Michigan politics and sign up for our elections newsletter

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