July 24, 2021

Despite Michigan Supreme Court order, Unlock Michigan petition delayed again

3 min read

Despite a Michigan Supreme Court order to certify the Unlock Michigan petition, the State Board of Canvassers canceled its Wednesday meeting scheduled to certify the document.

The delay followed Keep Michigan Safe (KMS) lawyer Mark Brewer filing a motion asking the top court to reconsider the order.

His filing read: “With petition drives to restrict the right to vote and eviscerate the public health code’s pandemic powers anticipated in the coming days, now is not the time for this Court to summarily, without the benefit of oral argument and full briefing, free petition circulators, many of them paid and from out of state, from the rules governing their conduct and leave them free to continue to engage in the illegal conduct found by the Michigan Attorney General. Yet that is precisely what the Decision did in just 338 words.”

Brewer didn’t respond to a request from The Center Square for comment. The top court previously appeared to disagree, writing “[t]he Board thus has a clear legal duty to certify the petition.”

The Board in April deadlocked 2-2 on multiple motions.

Unlock Michigan spokesperson Fred Wszolek told The Center Square that KMS intended to mislead the Board into canceling the meeting.

“The filing from Keep Michigan Safe was an improper filing with the Michigan Supreme Court,” Wszolek said in a phone interview with The Center Square. “It asked for a rehearing which they’re not entitled to on an unsigned order of the court. They’re not entitled to a stay of the court’s order while they consider the motion.”

Wszolek estimated the Legislature could vote on the petition by mid-July.

“We think the Michigan Supreme Court will fix this relatively quickly and the Board of Canvassers can get back to doing their job, which is to certify our initiative and give the 550,000 people who signed our petition their voice,” he said.

The petition, filed in October 2020, dates back to the early COVID-19 pandemic when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Whitmer enacted the most severe restrictions in the 12 Midwest states via a 1945 pandemic powers the petition aims to annihilate. Those far-reaching orders included threatening criminal charges for operating a motorboat, visiting a secondary home, and banning stores larger than 50,000 feet from selling gardening supplies. Entire professions including barbers and landscapers were deemed “non-essential.”

But on Oct. 2, The Michigan Supreme Court tossed many of Whitmer’s executive orders, but split 4-3 on whether the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act “is an unlawful delegation of legislative power to the executive branch in violation of the Michigan Constitution.”

State Rep. Andrew Fink, R- Adams Twp., called the further delay “absurd” and called on the Board to certify the petition.

“It’s beyond appalling and absurd that the board of canvassers is defying not only the will of the people, but now the Supreme Court’s orders,” Fink said in a statement. “The people of Michigan have done their part in lawfully collecting signatures to validate their initiative, yet these clearly slanted bureaucrats insist on standing in the way of our state’s democratic process.”

This article was originally posted on Despite Michigan Supreme Court order, Unlock Michigan petition delayed again

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