Michigan AG's office will no longer enforce Gov. Whitmer's COVID-19 restrictions

by Joel Abbott · Oct 5th, 2020 4:03 pm

Last Updated Oct 7th, 2020 at 4:25 am

The Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Sunday that she will no longer enforce Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's lockdown restrictions following a court ruling that such mandates are unconstitutional.

"In light of the Supreme Court's decision on Friday, the Attorney General will no longer enforce the Governor's Executive Orders through criminal prosecution," said Ryan Jarvi, Nessel's press secretary. "However, her decision is not binding on other law enforcement agencies or state departments with independent enforcement authority."

The announcement comes after the Michigan Supreme Court struck down Whitmer's extended lockdown orders on Friday, arguing the law is clear that the governor can only declare a state of emergency for 28 days without legislative approval. Many Michigan sheriffs have repeatedly said they will not enforce the shutdown policies, which at one point included banning residents from traveling to other residents' homes.

An official petition to remove the governor's emergency powers collected 500,000 signatures in the state in a matter of months. State representatives have also sued Whitmer for abuse of power.

Jarvi also expressed Nessel's continued support for the governor in the statement.

"It is her fervent hope that people continue to abide by the measures that governor Whitmer put in place... since they've proven effective at saving lives," Jarvi said. "If it weren't for the Governor's actions, countless more of our friends, family, and neighbors would have been lost to COVID-19."

Whitmer has argued vehemently against the high court's ruling, saying it has no effect until the end of her current round of orders – renewed every 28 days – that her emergency powers "retain the force of the law," and that she will use "alternative sources of authority" to enforce her orders moving forward.

"Many of the responsive measures I have put in place to control the spread of the virus will continue under alternative sources of authority that were not at issue in today's ruling," Whitmer said.


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