(LibertySociety.com) – After Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) issued a slew of executive orders that paralyzed Michigan during the COVID-19 pandemic, over half a million citizens said enough is enough.
Up until now, each state’s emergency powers law typically came into play during natural disasters. It’s essential to give state leaders a way to act quickly in times of urgency, but there has to be a limit.
In Michigan’s case, Whitmer took advantage of the state’s 1945 Emergency Powers of Governor Act, passing a multitude of executive orders that kept the entire state locked down against the will of its people.
The Michigan Supreme Court deemed the act unconstitutional in October of 2020. But it wasn’t until July 23 of last year that a group called Unlock Michigan forced the state senate to repeal the act and reign in the governor’s near-unbridled use of power.
A law Governor Gretchen Whitmer used to issue emergency orders during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic was repealed Wednesday by a vote by the state House of Representatives. https://t.co/fO7DgDjJLQ
— Michigan Radio (@MichiganRadio) July 22, 2021
Several other states are looking into limiting emergency powers as well. As Michigan residents proved, the government works for the people, and they have a voice that can work to change legislation. Only Alaska, Maine, South Dakota, and Vermont seem happy with their governors’ level of control.
While it’s true that states need protection during emergencies, if powers remain unchecked, the delicate government balance can result in “gubernatorial abuse.”
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