Emergency Coronavirus Orders Upheld in Wisconsin, Rejected in Michigan
Courts in Michigan and Wisconsin rule on governors’ emergency orders. In Wisconsin, a circuit court upheld a statewide face-mask mandate and other public health emergency orders from Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat. Meanwhile, the Michigan Supreme Court again ruled against Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s April 30 executive order instituting various coronavirus containment measures—but subsequent Whitmer orders to the same effect make the decision meaningless in practice.
Having already ruled on October 2 that Whitmer’s orders were unconstitutional, the Michigan Supreme Court yesterday rejected her plea to let the orders play out a little longer anyway. Whitmer’s office had asked last week for more time to ensure “an orderly transition during which some responsive measures can be placed under alternative executive authority and the Governor and Legislature can work to address many other pandemic-related matters.”
The 4-3 decision to deny this request “added an exclamation mark” to the court’s earlier ruling, says the Detroit Free Press.
Yet it means little in practical terms for Michigan residents, the paper points out, since “new emergency orders that the Whitmer administration has issued through the state health department director—which replicate mask requirements, restrictions on gathering sizes and restaurant capacity, among other features—are not affected by the court’s ruling.”
The same goes for another Monday ruling from Michigan’s Supreme Court, which rejected a lower court’s decision in support of the emergency orders. “The Emergency Powers of the Governor Act is incompatible with the Constitution of our state,” the state Supreme Court wrote in its decision on this case.
In Wisconsin, where Evers’ orders were challenged by three residents represented by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL), things went down differently.
The lawsuit argued that Evers “exceeded his statutory authority by declaring public hea
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