House Speaker Lee Chatfield, (R-Levering), and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, (R-Clarklake), announced the anticipated lawsuit in the state Court of Claims in a press conference on Wednesday, May 6th.
"We’ve attempted to partner with our governor, but she’s rejected," Chatfield wrote on Twitter Wednesday. "We offered cooperation, but instead she chose court. This was avoidable, but today we filed a lawsuit in our state to challenge her unconstitutional actions. The law in Michigan is clear, and nobody is above it.
"The Governor's actions leaves us little choice, but to file a lawsuit and seek clarification in the courts, " Shirkey said.
This suit comes just under a week after the Governor and the legislature were unable to come to an agreement on an extension of the state's emergency declaration (see Governor Whitmer and Legislative Leaders Clash on Extension of Emergency Declaration). On April 30th, the Governor bypassed the legislature and issued three new executive orders, declaring a state of emergency and state of disaster across the state through May 28th, 2020. The Governor used her executive order powers under the state's 1945 emergency powers act to extend her ability to suspend certain state laws into the future which does not require legislative approval. This action was expected. However, she also issued Executive Order 2020-68, which declares a state of emergency and a state of disaster across the State of Michigan under the Emergency Management Act of 1976. The 1976 emergency powers act requires the Legislature to extend a Governor's emergency declaration another 28 days. As mentioned previously, she did not get legislative approval to do so.
MOGA will keep you updated as the situation continues to develop.