Thursday, April 30, 2020

Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches Engage over Michigan Executive Orders

Governor Whitmer sought to extend the Stay Home Stay Safe Order and legislative members of the House of Representatives said "Not so fast!". Senate bills passed limiting her emergency powers and in turn the Governor promised a veto. Legislature went on to pass bills codifying (arranging into codes) existing executive orders and then empowered the speaker to go after the Governor legally.

Such a change means there were a number of members coordinating in the background to make this happen. An interesting turn of affairs in a future presidential race state. The "show down" was getting louder over the past couple of days and you could see tensions rising. The essential issues revolve around who gets to make the decisions.

All three branches (Executive, Judicial, and Legislative) are likely to be involved at some point. This is where things get more interesting because our constitutional system is designed to check and balance each other in this way. Therefore, there is likely to be a legal tie breaker unless some type of compromise occurs.

The possible choices....

1. Backing down (A remote possibility in a presidential battle ground state). Yikes! 🙉
2. Compromise (Possible with face saving moves by both sides). Probably the most reasonable option. 🙊
3. Judicial (The tie breaker if both sides don't come to agreement). Long, messy and expensive.🙈

You may want to email discussion in Talking Points Memo.....

The essential issue is moving power back to the legislature. In the emails, chief of staff Jeremy Hendges proposes, "two one-week extensions in exchange for a public agreement that all future stay-at-home-type orders (and only those) be enacted through bipartisan legislation and the democratic process rather than executive order."

The response from the Governors office was...."While I welcome partnership, information sharing and robust discussion with the legislature, I cannot abrogate my duty to act in an emergency to protect the lives of Michiganders"..... "We are in the midst of a global pandemic that has already killed 3,670 people and COVID 19 numbers continue to climb in parts of our state. Michigan remains in a state of emergency regardless of the actions you decide to take or not take (1)."

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