For more than four months now, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has held unilateral control over policies related to the presence of COVID-19 in Michigan. The governor believes a rarely used state law from 1945 meant to deal with urban rioting allows her to keep such power however long she alone chooses. This effectively blocks the people’s elected representatives — members of the Michigan Legislature — from having any influence over such policies.
The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation sued the governor in federal court over some of these orders, and now that case is going to be heard by the Michigan Supreme Court on Sept. 2.
This virtual event will explain the details of this case, and why the governor’s actions are a violation of the Michigan Constitution’s requirement of a separation of powers between executive, judicial and legislative branches of state government. The program will feature opening remarks by Joseph Lehman, president of the Mackinac Center, as well as featured panelists Dr. Randal Baker, a general surgeon in Grand Rapids whose practice was largely shut down from the executive orders, and Patrick Wright, vice president for legal affairs at the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation. They will discuss the health and economic harms from the executive orders and their lawsuit against the governor.
This event will take place on Tuesday, August 18, at 11 a.m. EDT. To RSVP and receive access to the forum, please register below.
You can learn more about the case being heard at the Michigan Supreme Court here or watch the video below.
Dr. Randal Baker is a bariatric physician at Grand Health Partners with a specialization in bariatric surgery, advanced laparoscopy and endoscopic sclerotherapy. Dr Baker is involved in research all over the world, and has presented his findings abroad in countries like France, Spain and Tokyo. Following Governor Whitmer’s executive order banning “non-essential” health practices, Dr. Baker became a client of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation.
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.
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.