Vindication in Michigan: A Victory for the Rule of Law

 

Back in early May, I put up a post entitled Despotism Comes to Michigan, going into some detail concerning Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s seizure of what amounts to dictatorial powers. In it, I suggested two things: first, that the 1945 law under which she claimed to be exercising emergency powers had been replaced by the 1976 law authorizing the legislature to confer on the governor such powers for a limited period of time; and second, that the 1945 law was unconstitutional from the start because it violated the fundamental constitutional principle of the separation of powers by placing the legislative power and the executive power together in the hands of a single person when an emergency had been declared and by leaving the declaration of an emergency to the discretion of that person.

Back in late April, the Michigan Republicans, who control both the state house and the state senate, refused to renew the grant of emergency powers to Governor Whitmer under the 1976 statute and filed suit in state court, arguing that the 1945 act could not be the basis for unilateral action on her part. At the local level and in the appeals court, the Republicans were shot down.

But today, much to my surprise, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that she had violated her constitutional authority by continuing to issue emergency orders after the legislature had refused to renew her powers. And in the process the court ruled that the 1945 act was, as I had suggested, unconstitutional.

In her response, according to The Detroit News, Whitmer is breathing defiance:

Whitmer said Friday she “vehemently” disagreed with the court’s ruling, which she said made Michigan an “outlier” among the vast majority of states that have emergency orders still in place.

The governor said the ruling doesn’t take effect for 21 days and, even after that, her orders will remain in place through “alternative sources of authority.”

The ruling appears to leave intact orders issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, which have addressed some of the same subject matter contained in Whitmer’s executive orders.

“I want the people of Michigan to know that no matter what happens, I will never stop fighting to keep you and your families safe from this deadly virus,” she said.

Stay tuned. Things in these parts are beginning to get interesting.

Published in Domestic Policy
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  1. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Paul A. Rahe: “I want the people of Michigan to know that no matter what happens, I will never stop fighting to keep you and your families safe from this deadly virus,” she said.

    Who is going to keep them and their families safe from HER?

    • #1
  2. MichaelKennedy Member
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    I understand she is refusing to comply.

    <i>“The governor said the ruling doesn’t take effect for 21 days and, even after that, her orders will remain in place through ‘alternative sources of authority.’”</i>

    Hmmmm….

    • #2
  3. Chris O. Coolidge
    Chris O.
    @ChrisO

    Someone mentioned the other day that 30 percent of adults think testing positive for the virus is a death sentence. Well, that’s because of people like her, clearly fearmongering I suppose to be seen as a strong authority figure.

    • #3
  4. James Hageman Moderator
    James Hageman
    @JamesHageman

    And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. Luke 22:25

    • #4
  5. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Finally the courts are taking on petit tyranny which is not so petit for the lives that have been destroyed.

    • #5
  6. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    I wonder if any entity is in the position of being able to legally remove her from office. She is the fascist people pretend Trump is. 

    • #6
  7. Rick N. Member
    Rick N.
    @RickyCVN76

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Finally the courts are taking on petit tyranny which is not so petit for the lives that have been destroyed.

    Not everywhere. Courts upheld the restrictions on religious gathering numbers here in Colorado. And people are just going along with it.

    • #7
  8. cirby Member
    cirby
    @cirby

    These petty tyrants all rely on their opposition remaining sane and stable, indefinitely.

    They never consider the idea that, if you push hard enough, even the most reasonable and patient person will run out of reason and patience. Not to mention that, well before that point, there’s a lot of inherently unreasonable and impatient people out there looking for something to do.

    • #8
  9. Maguffin Member
    Maguffin
    @Maguffin

    “I want the people of Michigan to know that no matter what happens, I will never stop fighting to keep you and your families safe from this deadly virus,” she said.

    FIFH.

    • #9
  10. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Paul A. Rahe: The governor said the ruling doesn’t take effect for 21 days and, even after that, her orders will remain in place through “alternative sources of authority.”

    Thug.  

    • #10
  11. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Our state tyrant has little opposition, as both houses of the legislature are in DemocRat hands. And the sheeple approve of their bondage by a 60-40 margin. They are fools. 

    • #11
  12. Roderic Reagan
    Roderic
    @rhfabian

    Paul A. Rahe: the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that she had violated her constitutional authority by continuing to issue emergency orders after the legislature had refused to renew her powers. And in the process the court ruled that the 1945 act was, as I had suggested, unconstitutional.

    I don’t understand how the Governor could claim that the old law, which has been obviously superseded by the new one, could authorize her to continue the emergency.  It seems like a naked violation of the law.

    What is the remedy in that state for a Governor that pulls a stunt like that?  Impeachment?

    • #12
  13. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Paul A. Rahe: and by leaving the declaration of an emergency to the discretion of that person.

    This is the problem with all emergency powers.  If the person decides that STDs are a statewide emergency, he can declare mandatory use of condoms by all men, and that women wear chastity belts until further notice.  There should be some clearly defined limits to those powers, possibly including the right of citizens to “opt out” of the emergency response in some cases.

    • #13
  14. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Roderic (View Comment):
    What is the remedy in that state for a Governor that pulls a stunt like that? Impeachment?

    Impeachment is possible. There are other remedies that could be fun to watch coming out of the courts. We’ll see what happens.

    • #14
  15. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Also, I should say that our legislature has a fairly clear majority on the Republican side:

    Senate political groups
         Republican (22)
         Democratic (16)

    House of Representatives political groups
         Republican (58)
         Democratic (52)

    • #15
  16. Roderic Reagan
    Roderic
    @rhfabian

    Stad (View Comment):

    Paul A. Rahe: and by leaving the declaration of an emergency to the discretion of that person.

    This is the problem with all emergency powers. If the person decides that STDs are a statewide emergency, he can declare mandatory use of condoms by all men, and that women wear chastity belts until further notice. There should be some clearly defined limits to those powers, possibly including the right of citizens to “opt out” of the emergency response in some cases.

    Rules that are clearly arbitrary and capricious can be stricken by the courts. 

    • #16
  17. MichaelKennedy Member
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    That was the state supreme  court ruling on a state law so no appeals unless she has “a higher authority” up her sleeve.

    • #17
  18. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    That was the state supreme court ruling on a state law so no appeals unless she has “a higher authority” up her sleeve.

    And in the meantime, everyone is free to disobey the law, no matter what she says because they can rely on the decision of the Court.

    • #18
  19. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Roderic (View Comment):
    What is the remedy in that state for a Governor that pulls a stunt like that? Impeachment?

    Impeachment is possible. There are other remedies that could be fun to watch coming out of the courts. We’ll see what happens.

    Impeachment — even if she defies court orders — is unlikely. The Democrats are resolute, and in Michigan the Republicans are cowards and fools. My state senator is the majority leader in the Senate, and it is said that he will be the next Republican governor. He is a business-as-usual Republican and will do nothing that requires principle and fortitude.

    • #19
  20. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Paul A. Rahe: “I want the people of Michigan to know that no matter what happens, I will never stop fighting to keep you and your families safe from this deadly virus,” she said.

    Who is going to keep them and their families safe from HER?

    Yeah, with a face like that, don’t expect her to go quietly into the night.

    • #20
  21. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Also, I should say that our legislature has a fairly clear majority on the Republican side:

    Senate political groups
    Republican (22)
    Democratic (16)

    House of Representatives political groups
    Republican (58)
    Democratic (52)

    Do they need 2/3rds in he Senate?

    • #21
  22. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Roderic (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Paul A. Rahe: and by leaving the declaration of an emergency to the discretion of that person.

    This is the problem with all emergency powers. If the person decides that STDs are a statewide emergency, he can declare mandatory use of condoms by all men, and that women wear chastity belts until further notice. There should be some clearly defined limits to those powers, possibly including the right of citizens to “opt out” of the emergency response in some cases.

    Rules that are clearly arbitrary and capricious can be stricken by the courts.

    Unless the judges hearing the cases are liberal.  That case, they will rule in favor of the law no matter how capricious and arbitrary if it advances leftism …

    • #22
  23. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Percival (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Also, I should say that our legislature has a fairly clear majority on the Republican side:

    Senate political groups
    Republican (22)
    Democratic (16)

    House of Representatives political groups
    Republican (58)
    Democratic (52)

    Do they need 2/3rds in he Senate?

    At the very least, they need intestinal fortitude.

    • #23
  24. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Also, I should say that our legislature has a fairly clear majority on the Republican side:

    Senate political groups
    Republican (22)
    Democratic (16)

    House of Representatives political groups
    Republican (58)
    Democratic (52)

    Do they need 2/3rds in he Senate?

    At the very least, they need intestinal fortitude.

    Our side doesn’t play to win, that’s for sure.

    • #24
  25. Chris O. Coolidge
    Chris O.
    @ChrisO

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Paul A. Rahe: The governor said the ruling doesn’t take effect for 21 days and, even after that, her orders will remain in place through “alternative sources of authority.”

    Thug.

    So…you don’t think she means the legislature?

    • #25
  26. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Chris O. (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Paul A. Rahe: The governor said the ruling doesn’t take effect for 21 days and, even after that, her orders will remain in place through “alternative sources of authority.”

    Thug.

    So…you don’t think she means the legislature?

    The legislature might not have enough backbone to directly confront her, such as by impeachment, but that doesn’t mean they would pass emergency-powers legislation either.  I suppose that means she would continue to get away with acting like a monarch, unless the court has officers to perp-walk her.

    • #26
  27. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Chris O. (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Paul A. Rahe: The governor said the ruling doesn’t take effect for 21 days and, even after that, her orders will remain in place through “alternative sources of authority.”

    Thug.

    So…you don’t think she means the legislature?

    The legislature might not have enough backbone to directly confront her, such as by impeachment, but that doesn’t mean they would pass emergency-powers legislation either. I suppose that means she would continue to get away with acting like a monarch, unless the court has officers to perp-walk her.

    The next Governor would.

    (Hint, hint)

    • #27
  28. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Percival (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Chris O. (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Paul A. Rahe: The governor said the ruling doesn’t take effect for 21 days and, even after that, her orders will remain in place through “alternative sources of authority.”

    Thug.

    So…you don’t think she means the legislature?

    The legislature might not have enough backbone to directly confront her, such as by impeachment, but that doesn’t mean they would pass emergency-powers legislation either. I suppose that means she would continue to get away with acting like a monarch, unless the court has officers to perp-walk her.

    The next Governor would.

    (Hint, hint)

    That would be if the voters elect someone else, which seems unlikely, or if the legislature votes to remove her from office, which seems even more unlikely.

    At this point I would be less surprised if they replaced the state Supreme Court.

    • #28
  29. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    Chris O. (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Paul A. Rahe: The governor said the ruling doesn’t take effect for 21 days and, even after that, her orders will remain in place through “alternative sources of authority.”

    Thug.

    So…you don’t think she means the legislature?

    Er . . . uh . . . No!

    • #29
  30. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Chris O. (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Paul A. Rahe: The governor said the ruling doesn’t take effect for 21 days and, even after that, her orders will remain in place through “alternative sources of authority.”

    Thug.

    So…you don’t think she means the legislature?

    The legislature might not have enough backbone to directly confront her, such as by impeachment, but that doesn’t mean they would pass emergency-powers legislation either. I suppose that means she would continue to get away with acting like a monarch, unless the court has officers to perp-walk her.

    The next Governor would.

    (Hint, hint)

    That would be if the voters elect someone else, which seems unlikely, or if the legislature votes to remove her from office, which seems even more unlikely.

    At this point I would be less surprised if they replaced the state Supreme Court.

    There are two seats on the Supreme Court up for grabs in November. One of these is currently held by the retiring Justice who wrote this decision (a friend of mine, let me add).

    • #30