Michigan court again rules in favor of emergency law critics
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court on Friday reaffirmed an earlier decision that could lead to the repeal of a law that was used by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to order restrictions last year related to the coronavirus.
The court directed the Board of State Canvassers to certify a ballot question that will likely kill the 1945 emergency powers law, which has already been declared unconstitutional.
A group called Unlock Michigan met the 340,000-signature threshold, officials said, but the board deadlocked along partisan lines and refused to certify the issue in April.
“The board has a clear legal duty to certify the petition,” the Supreme Court said.
When the petition is certified, the Republican-controlled Legislature will likely enact the measure and end the law rather than let it go to a public vote in 2022. Whitmer, a Democrat, is powerless to stop lawmakers if they take that step.
After the Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional in October, Whitmer used a public health law to carry out many of the same policies to stop the spread of COVID-19.