County prosecutors say 'executive orders are still in force'

Posted at 9:14 PM, May 14, 2020

LANSING, Mich. — A statewide association representing county prosecutors weighed in today on Michigan's coronavirus "enforcement efforts."

The Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan (PAAM) said that while's there's a legal challenge by the state Legislature against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over her authority to issue executive orders, “the executive orders are still in force,” because no court has issued a ruling on the matter.

The association represents all 83 elected county prosecutors in the state.

Oral arguments in the case of the Michigan House of Representatives and Michigan Senate v. Whitmer, Case No. 20-000079, will be heard on May 15 at 10 a.m. by Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens.

The statement issued by PAAM comes after Michigan Attorney General Nessel issued a "letter of guidance" on May 5 to local law enforcement officials across the state on the most recent stay-at-home order (No. 2020-70) and the order restricting public places (2020-69).

After reviewing the issue, Nessel says in the letter the two orders are valid under the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act. She asks local law enforcement agencies to continue their enforcement efforts.

“This is a bi-partisan group of legal experts who have spoken out simply because it’s the right thing to do," Nessel said today.

"To those law enforcement agencies that have questioned their ability to enforce the governor’s order in light of the current legal dispute, both the Department of Attorney General and the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan have independently confirmed that the governor’s orders are valid and enforceable, until and unless a court says otherwise.

“I join the county prosecutors in hoping that the court brings clarity to these issues soon. In the meantime, I stand with them as we work with local communities to overcome the challenges and hardships presented by COVID-19.”