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Michigan Supreme Court orders state elections board to certify Unlock Michigan signatures

Michigan Hall of Justice
Posted at 3:46 PM, Jun 11, 2021

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court on Friday unanimously ordered the state elections board to certify a veto-proof initiative that would let Republican legislators wipe from the books a law Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used to issue sweeping pandemic orders.

The decision came after two Democrats on the Board of State Canvassers opposed ratifying the ballot measure in April, despite a finding from the elections bureau that enough signatures had been collected. The justices said the four-member panel “has a clear legal duty to certify the petition.”

The board’s Democrats had called for further investigation into alleged wrongdoing by some circulators.

For months, the Democratic governor acted under the 1945 emergency-powers law to order and keep intact restrictions on the economy to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional last fall, but the conservative group Unlock Michigan wants to kill it to prevent a future court from deciding differently.

Since the ruling, Whitmer has turned to the state health department to tighten and ease restrictions under a separate law.

The canvassers will meet soon to certify the petition. The GOP-controlled Legislature will likely enact the measure rather than let it go to a public vote in 2022. The governor could not veto it.