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Court rules 'Stay Home, Stay Safe' executive order is constitutional

Posted at 9:22 PM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 21:33:49-04

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Court of Claims ruled Wednesday that the 'Stay Home, Stay Safe' order does not infringe upon Michiganders’ constitutional rights.

Attorney General Dana Nessel announced the court ruled in favor of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, denying a preliminary injunction.

According to the court documents, five Michigan residents claimed that the 'Stay Home, Stay Safe' order and the interstate travel restrictions violate their rights and asked the judge to temporarily suspend the orders.

Court of Claims Judge Christopher M. Murray agreed that these rights are fundamental but ruled in favor of Whitmer, saying that giving that relief “would not serve the public interest, despite the temporary harm to plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.”

“But those liberty interests are, and always have been, subject to society’s interests – society being our fellow residents," Judge Murray said. "They – our fellow residents – have an interest to remain unharmed by a highly communicable and deadly virus, and since the state entered the Union in 1837, it has had the broad power to act for the public health of the entire state when faced with a public crisis.”

The plaintiffs also fought the Emergency Management Act, saying it gave too much legislative power to the governor.

Judge Murray, however, said the act does not give the governor “uncontrolled, arbitrary power," adding that the act gives the governor a specific outlines very specific procedures and criteria to follow to order a state of emergency.

“I am pleased with the court’s decision,” Nessel said. “This pandemic has already taken more than 3,600 lives in Michigan and many more around the world. The primary goal of the Stay Home, Stay Safe order has always been to protect human life.”