Judge rules on lawsuit against Michigan governor’s stay-at-home order

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, D-Michigan (video screenshot)

By Mary Rose Corkery
Daily Caller News Foundation

A U.S. district judge denied a lawsuit against Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order, which has since been rescinded.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman dismissed a lawsuit Friday against Whitmer’s restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reported Monday. Helm Law PC filed the lawsuit April 14 for “violation” of the First Amendment’s “Freedom of Assembly” and the “Takings Clause,” according to a Helm Law PC press release.

The Michigan governor’s restrictions had prohibited people from traveling to visit friends and hold private and public gatherings, causing backlash, including from the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice filed a statement of interest, calling Whitmer’s orders “arbitrary” and “irrational.” Whitmer extended the orders until June 12.

TRENDING: Judge rules on lawsuit against Michigan governor’s stay-at-home order

Judge Bernard Friedman dismissed the lawsuit on the basis that the “U.S. Constitution’s ban on federal lawsuits by citizens against states barred the Michigan plaintiffs from suing Whitmer in her role as governor,” according to Reuters. Friedman deemed the case “pure speculation” for the “idea that Whitmer might impose restrictions.”

Whitmer’s office has not immediately responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Her restrictions were “rescinded,” according to Reuters.

Not all of Michigan’s restrictions are lifted, attorney David Helm told the DCNF. Helm is the lawyer for Helm Law PC, which is representing the clients suing Whitmer.

“There are still restrictions in place,” Helm told the DCNF over the phone. “The general ban or order to ‘When in doubt, stay at home,’ or ‘To the extent possible, stay at home,’ which was actually the language used in the preamble of the executive orders throughout has been lifted as of today.”

Helm said the lawsuit was filed because Whitmer’s orders were a “violation of the Constitution.” Going forward, the case will be appealed, he said.

“What we emphasize in our motion in response is that although the governor has now lifted her restrictions. We believe her restrictions in the first place were a violation of the Constitution — they were not properly implemented,” Helm added.

He continued: “Since she has said over and over and over again that we might have to ‘move backwards’ as her exact quote and reimpose these should we see a spike, we want to make sure there’s precedence established to give the governor clear guidelines as to what she can and cannot do going forward.”

This story originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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