When asking about the Michigan Supreme court’s recent COVID-19 decision, I was surprised to find that very few even knew Michigan had a supreme court.
The court voted on the validity of Gov. Gretchen Whitmers’ emergency orders. The court claimed that the law Gov. Whitmer based her orders on “the emergency powers of governor act of 1945” was a violation of the Michigan constitution with a 4-3 majority along respective partisan lines.
Because of this court ruling, Gov. Whitmer will be forced to work more closely with the Michigan legislature during the COVID-19 response. This could prove to be dangerous for Michigan students and families because the Michigan senate has repeatedly been in favor of reopening despite rising cases of covid-19.
The Governor has a 21 day period to call for a “rehearing” so the court decision won’t go into effect until the end of that period. There is some speculation on whether the 21 day period is really 21 days due to the unlikeliness of a rehearing.
Starting on October 30th, state-wide required safety procedures like mask mandates will be paired down by the State Senate where the Republican Majority leader Mike Shirkey has stated a mask mandate is unlikely. However, as of right now, the city of East Lansing has a mask policy in effect that is city-wide, unaffected by the supreme court ruling.
Refusing to be deterred, Gov. Whitmer has partnered with local health officials to institute some of the state policies that have been overruled to lower levels that wouldn’t be impacted by a ruling. As of right now, the city of East Lansing has a mask policy in effect that is city-wide, unaffected by the supreme court ruling.
As of right now, Michigan is the only state to not be in a state of emergency and this ruling puts premature decision-making into effect that will prevent students from returning and remaining in the classroom putting Michigan students at a disadvantage. Forcing normalcy won’t bring back normalcy. This is an issue that needs to be addressed not glossed over.