MIDLAND, Mich. —Gov. Whitmer is facing another lawsuit for two Executive Orders one group has called unconstitutional.
The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, along with the Miller Johnson law firm filed the lawsuit on behalf of Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan and a private landscaping company. The lawsuit argues that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Orders 91 and 92, which call for “strict workplace safety measures” during the COVID-19 pandemic. are unconstitutional.
As businesses are on separate pages for the pace to re-open operations, the governor has claimed increased penalties for violation of executive orders.
The previous penalty, permitted by statute, was potentially a 90-day jail sentence and $500 fine.
Now, violators face a potential three-year felony and a fine of up to $70,000 per occurrence. If the state seeks only fines, not jail time, for violations, the standard of proof is lowered from “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The lawsuit argues that the governor is increasing penalties without legislative approval and is also transferring enforcement power from local elected officials, such as sheriffs and prosecutors, to unelected bureaucrats under her control.
“Gov. Whitmer’s approach threatens the safe jobs of Michigan workers who from the start have led the way, creating the gold standard of safe worksites during the COVID-19 public health crisis,” said Jeff Wiggins, state director for ABC Michigan.
“Michigan’s more than 100,000 craft trades professionals deserve safety and certainty from state government as they return to their jobsites. They also deserve to have a voice in the rules process. Instead, they are threatened by the arbitrary, unclear and unconstitutional enforcement methods set to be dispatched throughout the state to intimidate good, honest workers.”
You can view the complaint here. Given the circumstances of the case, the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation filed for an immediate declaratory judgement. You can view the motion here.