HUDSONVILLE, Mich. — A West Michigan attorney is pushing back on the emergency order MDHHS issued Monday.
Katherine Henry, a constitutional attorney at Restore Freedom with Katherine Henry, says the law the department used to issue the order is unconstitutional.
It reads, “the director may prohibit the gathering of people for any purpose and may establish procedures to be followed during the epidemic to insure continuation of essential public health services and enforcement of health laws.”
County health departments, like Oakland and Ingham, have issued similar health orders within the last few days.
“The constitution doesn’t change just because people are afraid,” said Henry. “These emergency orders, both on the county level as well as on the state level, they’re violating the actual state law itself.”
Henry says the language about prohibiting the gathering of people is too broad and violates rights outline in the Michigan and United States Constitutions, such as the right to peacefully assemble.
“It [ the constitution ] doesn’t say well except for when there’s COVID19, then you get to set aside the rights that we the people have to gather or to worship or whatever,” said Henry.
Henry adds that in the Michigan Supreme Court ruling Friday, the court said the 1945 law, cited by Governor Whitmer in her executive orders, granted Michigan governors uncheck authority.
Henry says the state health director, who works under the executive branch, shouldn’t overstep their authority either.
“It’s completely unacceptable that one person could create all kinds of “laws” about gatherings and face coverings and organized sports and food establishments and then make it a misdemeanor to violate this order,” said Henry.