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Attorneys for Gov. Whitmer attempt to dismiss Detroit's water shutoff policy due to COVID-19

"Faucet" by Joe Shlabotnik is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Attorneys for Governor Gretchen Whitmer appeared in federal court Wednesday. They are attempting to dismiss a lawsuit to end Detroit’s water shutoff policy.

Lawyers for Whitmer say she does not belong in the complaint. Assistant Attorney General Mark Sands says the charges against the governor are political, not legal.

“She’s not legally authorized or required to dictate water shutoff policy.”

Mark Fancher, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union disagrees. He says before the governor made an order to stop the water shutoffs at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Whitmer had been working with officials in Detroit to maintain the city policy.

“Her administration made the ludicrous assertion that there is no connection between water shutoffs and the spread of disease.”

The ACLU and NAACP argue that Detroit’s water shutoff policy disproportionately harms Black communities, violating the civil rights for thousands of residents.