May 14, 2020
LANSING – In a statement issued Wednesday, the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan (PAAM) – an association consisting of all 83 elected county prosecutors – issued a statement on the state’s COVID-19 enforcement efforts.
In the statement, PAAM acknowledged the legal challenge brought by the State Legislature against Governor Whitmer over her authority to issue Executive Orders but stated that, because no court has issued a ruling, “the Executive Orders are still in force.”
This statement comes after Attorney General Nessel issued similar guidance on May 5 to law enforcement across the state where she found the two orders – Stay Home, Stay Safe Order (2020-70) and Places of Public Accommodation Order (2020-69) – to be valid under the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act and asked local law enforcement agencies to continue their enforcement efforts.
“This is a bi-partisan group of legal experts who have spoken out simply because it’s the right thing to do. To those law enforcement agencies that have questioned their ability to enforce the Governor’s Order in light of the current legal dispute, both the Department of Attorney General and the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan have independently confirmed that the Governor’s orders are valid and enforceable until and unless a court says otherwise,” said Nessel. “I join the county prosecutors in hoping that the court brings clarity to these issues soon. In the meantime, I stand with them as we work with local communities to overcome the challenges and hardships presented by COVID-19.”
Oral argument will be heard by Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens in Michigan House of Representatives and Michigan Senate v Whitmer, Case No. 20-000079, on Friday, May 15, at 10:00 a.m.