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Court of Appeals upholds governor's emergency powers

Michigan Court of Appeals

The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Friday that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was acting within her authority under the Emergency Powers Act when she continued her state of emergency without legislative approval this spring.

In a 2-1 decision, the Court of Appeals ruled in the governor’s favor, saying she has not exceeded her emergency powers during the pandemic.

“We hold that the Governor’s declaration of a state of emergency, her extensions of the state of emergency, and her issuance of related EOs clearly fell within the scope of the Governor’s authority under the EPGA,” the court said. 

Judges Jane E. Market and Kirsten Frank Kelly formed the majority opinion, while Judge Jonathan Tukel dissented. 

In a released statement, Whitmer spokesperson Tiffany Brown said “this lawsuit is a dangerous and costly attempt to take away the governor’s power to respond to the COVID-19 emergency and save lives.”

She said the court gave Whitmer a “complete and decisive win.”

“This decision recognizes that the governor’s actions to save lives are lawful and her orders remain in place,” Brown said.

It is expected that the Michigan supreme court will have the final say on the matter, beginning with oral arguments on September 2.