A Michigan judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit over Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's use of emergency powers to extend Michigan's state of emergency.
The lawsuit, brought on by Republican leaders of the state's Legislature earlier this month, alleged Whitmer's extension of the state of emergency had been unlawful and went against the Michigan constitution.
The GOP leaders also filed a motion for immediate declaratory judgment, arguing, "no statute or constitutional provision empowers the Governor to declare a statewide, indefinite state of emergency and then rely on that declaration to exercise unfettered lawmaking authority."
"Through two distinct acts, stated in plain and certain terms, the Legislature has granted the governor broad but focused authority to respond to emergencies that affect the state and its people," Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Diane Stephens said in her ruling.
Stephens noted, Whitmer did exceed her authority by trying to extend the state of emergency under the Emergency Management Act of 1976, which requires approval by the legislature.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, a Republican, told the Detroit News that his group was "vindicated in our assertion that the governor acted unlawfully in attempting to extend the states of emergency and disaster under the Emergency Management Act without legislative approval.
"We are confident in our position and will appeal this ruling," he added.
Whitmer's office said in a statement the decision "recognizes that the Governor's actions to save lives are lawful and her orders remain in place."
"She will continue to do what she's always done: take careful, decisive actions to protect Michiganders from this unprecedented, global pandemic. We owe it to our front line heroes who have been putting their lives on the line to pull together as a state and work as one team to stop the spread of this virus."
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