Governor Whitmer Requests Legal Review of Line 5 and the MSCA

On her first full day in office, Governor Whitmer requested an opinion from Attorney General Dana Nessel on the constitutionality of the law that created the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority and the on the Authority's approval of the Agreement. 

“I pledged to take action on the Line 5 pipeline on day one as governor, and I am holding true to that campaign promise.” the Governor said. 

Click Here to read the Governor's letter to the Attorney General  

According the the letter submitted to the AG's office, The Governor is questioning whether the new law violates the Michigan Constitution in several ways, including;

  • Whether the amended law violates a statute that requires the main focus of an act to be reflected in the title.
  • Whether the six-year appointments of corridor authority board members violate a constitutional requirement limiting appointments to four-year terms.
  • Whether the amended law violates parts of the Michigan Constitution related to tunnel construction and operation.
  • Whether the law constitutes a special or local act when it should have been created under a general act.
  • Whether the new authority possesses more power than it is entitled to by law or the Constitution. 
  • Whether the authority and its actions are invalid if the authority is found to violate state law or the state Constitution.

Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a press release in response to Governor Whitmer’s request, acknowledging it would be a top priority for her office but did not give a specific timeline on the review.

In her statement, the AG said "There are serious and significant concerns regarding PA 359, which the previous governor and legislature initiated and passed without the care and caution one would expect for an issue that will have a monumental impact on our state. Governor Whitmer has rightly – and immediately – raised important questions about the legality and statutory underpinnings of this Act and my office is prepared to tackle her request for an opinion immediately,” 

She also cautioned against using the act to move forward with any plans related to Line 5, citing the "serious legal concerns" raised by Whitmer’s request. 

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