State board votes 4-0 to certify petition to revoke Michigan Gov. Whitmer emergency powers

The Unlock Michigan petition now heads to the GOP-led Legislature for expected enactment.

Updated: July 13, 2021 - 10:26pm

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After two orders from the Michigan Supreme Court, the State Board of Canvassers unanimously certified the Unlock Michigan petition aiming to revoke Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's emergency powers.

The petition heads to the GOP-led Legislature. The spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey of Clarklake, Abby Walls, said lawmakers intend to enact the petition "as soon as we are able."

Fred Wszolek, the spokesman for Unlock Michigan, welcomed the news.

"We're looking forward to the next and final step on the long read: passage by the Michigan House and Senate of our initiative to repeal this law so abused by Governor Whitmer," Wszolek said in a statement.

The Board in April of 2020 deadlocked 2-2 on multiple motions.

The Unlock Michigan petition, filed in October 2020, dates back to the early COVID-19 pandemic when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer enacted the most severe restrictions in the 12 Midwest states via 1945 pandemic powers the petition aims to eliminate. Those far-reaching orders included threatening criminal charges for operating a motorboat, visiting a secondary home, and banning stores larger than 50,000 square feet from selling gardening supplies. Entire professions, including barbers and landscapers, were deemed "non-essential."

But on Oct. 2, 2020, The Michigan Supreme Court tossed many of Whitmer's executive orders, but split 4-3 on whether the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act "is an unlawful delegation of legislative power to the executive branch in violation of the Michigan Constitution."

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