Attorney General tells police Governor Whitmer's executive orders are valid and should be enforced

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. (AG Office/File Photo)
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. (AG Office/File Photo)(WLUC)
Published: May. 5, 2020 at 1:05 PM EDT
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Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says Governor Gretchen Whitmer's executive orders are valid and should be enforced by police statewide.

The Attorney General reviewed orders 2020-69 (closing restaurants, bars and other businesses to public entry) and 2020-70 (banning in-person work not necessary to preserve human life) after getting requests from the police and the public. She says police around Michigan were confused and frustrated after the Governor extended the state of emergency while the Legislature chose not to.

Following her review Attorney General Nessel sent a letter to law enforcement stating the orders are legal under the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act, the 1945 law Governor Whitmer cited when she extended the state of emergency without legislative approval.

Republicans in the Legislature have cited the Emergency Management Act of 1976, which states a Governor's emergency declaration can only last for 28 days without the approval of the Legislature.

In her letter to law enforcement, Attorney General Nessel says, "Executive Order 2020-69 and Executive Order 2020-70 are valid and enforceable under the EPGA. Given that these orders are a valid exercise of the Governor’s authority pursuant to the EPGA, the

speculation related to the EMA is of no moment and should not create any confusion as to the enforceability of these orders."

Last week the Republican-controlled Legislature voted to allowed the Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader to sue Governor Whitmer over her use of emergency powers. Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R - Clarklake) says that lawsuit could be filed as soon as the second week of May. Congressman Paul Mitchell (R - Michigan) of Lapeer County filed his own lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan on Monday.

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