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Politics

Michigan Supreme Court rules in favor of group seeking to limit Governor's emergency powers

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Courtesy Michigan Supreme Court
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The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a group called "Unlock Michigan," that wants to limit the governor's emergency powers.

The court ordered the state Board of Canvassers to certify a petition that would repeal the 1945 Emergency Powers of Governor Act.

Unlock Michigan successfully gathered enough signatures to place a proposed law before the state legislature, a law that repeals the 1945 Emergency Powers of Governor Act. Governor Whitmer relied on the Act to impose an extended state of emergency during the pandemic.

Fred Wszolek, a spokesman for Unlock Michigan, says the Court rightly told the Board of Canvassers it didn't have the authority to investigate the manner in which a petition drive is conducted.

"When the Secretary of State tells them that there are enough signatures on one of these petitions, they really have no choice but to certify that decision," Wszolek said.

Wszolek detailed that there's still a 1976 law that gives the Governor emergency powers for 28 days. After that, the governor must ask the legislature to agree to extend the state of emergency.

"A legitimate emergency where we don't really know what's going on and somebody has to be in charge and make snap decisions, that makes sense," Wszolek said. "But after a month, she needs to govern according to the normal rules".

Opponents of the petition say people who gathered signatures acted illegally, including lying to people about what the petition said. They plan to ask the Michigan Supreme Court to reconsider.