Enforcement of the governor’s many COVID-19 order—so complex and hard to follow that the state established a website to help citizen’s decipher them—has been a scattershot affair from the start. Some local law enforcement agencies have declined to enforce them and the Attorney General has said her office is not best equipped to do so. Now, in light of the Michigan Supreme Court’s ruling that the 1945 law upon which they rely is invalid, Attorney General Dana Nessel says she will no longer enforce them—though local authorities may choose to do so. Governor Whitmer says her orders remain effective through a 21 day period, but it is not clear whthe that is in fact the case. AG Nessel says she will continue to enforce orders from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, which do not rely on the 1945 law. Some of those mandate masks and limit the size of gatherings among other things. Local health departments also have authority to issue some orders which also presumably will remain valid. Nessel says she respects the Court’s ruling, but “fear[s] for the future of or state… .” She said that but for the orders many more lives would have been lost. Republican legislative leaders presumably dispute that claim. They say more damage has been done by the orders than they have saved.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said Saturday that the legislature would likely continue some of the provisions of the governor’s orders, but not all of them and not the mask mandates. He says he still encourages the public to wear masks, socially distance and wash hands, but he says that mandates are probably off the table.