Gov. Whitmer's Unprecedented Use of Emergency Powers
Regardless of whether Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's lockdown orders prove to be effective or not, her use of emergency powers is cause for concern. No governor has used these powers in this way, with most instances being short-lived or limited to certain areas of the state. Under the belief that the law empowers a governor to unilaterally determine both when an emergency exists and how long it will last, Gov. Whitmer has pushed these powers as far as possible. But does Michigan law allow it?
To learn more about this timely and important issue, this event will feature opening remarks from Joseph Lehman, president of the Mackinac Center, followed by Patrick Wright, vice president for legal affairs at the Mackinac Center. Patrick runs the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, which has filed several legal challenges to the governor's use of emergency powers. In addition, Michael Van Beek, director of research at the Center, will discuss the history of these laws and how they've been used in the past.
This event will take place on Wednesday, June 17 at 11 a.m. EDT. To RSVP and receive access to the forum, please register below.
An engineer by training, Joseph G. Lehman joined the Mackinac Center in 1995 and was named president in 2008. During his tenure Michigan has seen numerous free-market policy advances in education, labor and state fiscal affairs. Frequently published in national and state media, Lehman also has trained more than 600 public policy executives internationally on strategic leadership and communications. He and his wife are founders of Midland County Habitat for Humanity.
Michael Van Beek is director of research for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. He has authored several studies for the Center as well as analysis and commentaries that have been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press, The Grand Rapids Press, The Oakland Press and elsewhere.
Patrick Wright is vice president for legal affairs at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, where he directs the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation. He joined the Center in June 2005 after serving for three years as a Michigan Supreme Court commissioner, a post in which he made recommendations to the court concerning which state appeals court cases it should hear. Prior to that, Wright spent four years as an assistant attorney general for the State of Michigan, where he gained significant litigation and appellate advocacy experience.
Aside from directly representing clients, Wright has filed numerous amicus briefs, including many to the United States Supreme Court. In 2018, the Supreme Court cited his brief on behalf of the Center in the Janus v. AFSCME decision.