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Attorney who challenged Whitmer's executive order shares thoughts on ruling

Lansing capitol
Posted at 9:15 PM, Oct 03, 2020

LANSING, Mich. — A Michigan Supreme Court ruling says all of Governor Whitmer's executive orders issued after April 30 are unconstitutional. Current executive orders will remain in place for the next 20 days.

The ruling comes after attorney Patrick Wright, Vice President for Legal Affairs at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy represented one person and three healthcare agencies, saying that the extended executive order prevented people from getting medical treatments.

The state supreme court upheld the case. Wright says this isn't necessarily about whether or not Whitmer made the right decision, but that it didn't go through the correct process.

Protests opposing Whitmer's Executive Orders started as far back as April, with things like Operation Gridlock overtaking Lansing streets.

“So any order, executive order that the governor has issued, after April 30, 2020, is unconstitutional,” Patrick Wright said.

Wright says this is a step in the right direction for more balanced policies regarding how the state handles COVID-19.

“I want to make it very clear that with over 200,000 deaths in the country, and over 6 thousand 7 hundred deaths in Michigan, this remains a very important problem,” Wright said. “But not the kind of problem anymore where the governor alone should be making public policy, but rather that the legislature should have a say in it.”

Publicly acknowledging this change, State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey tweeting he does not support the statewide mask mandate.

Wright says in response to that Tweet, he wants the decisions to be made with science in mind. Previously he says the legislative body was not given access to the same scientific information as Governor Whitmer. He says this now allows for more equal representation from across the state.

“My thoughts on that is obviously that I want the best policy that comes out of the science, and balancing whatever the countervailing interests are,” Wright said.

Local businesses across West Michigan also provided their take. Shorts Brewing saying on Facebook, despite the change in Executive Order, at their private establishment, their requirements are staying the same to keep customers safe.

Wright says again this is about the legal perspective, saying a good example in his eyes for how things should work moving forward is the back to school bill, where both the governor and legislature worked together on policy.

Whitmer issued a statement on the ruling, calling it deeply disappointing. You can read that in full here.