LANSING, Mich. — Monday the Michigan Supreme Court denied a request by Governor Gretchen Whitmer to keep in place her coronavirus pandemic executive orders until Oct. 30. Governor Whitmer had made the argument that the orders should be kept in place to allow for an “orderly transition.”
The court denied the governor’s request for a 28-day extension, saying its Oct. 2 decision, which struck down a 1945 law Whitmer used to issue wide reaching executive orders in the interest of public health, must take immediate effect.
Since the Supreme Court ruling, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has replaced much of the orders under it’s own authority. The executive orders by the MDHHS put in place new mask mandates, restrictions on capacities for businesses and restrictions on public gatherings.
Whitmer’s executive orders affected more than matters directly tied to public health, however. They included a temporary expansion of the number of weeks jobless workers can claim unemployment, and also allowed city council meetings to be broadcast through social media with virtual public attendance rather than gathering in-person to allow the public to physically attend as required by the Open Meetings Act.
The Michigan House of Representatives will consider an unemployment bill to replace Whitmer’s overruled executive order, and as of now there is no known plans for a workaround to the executive order pertaining to the Open Meetings Act.
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