The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office announced Monday it is dismissing some 1,700 tickets for violations related to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s pandemic-related executive orders that were later ruled unconstitutional.
Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s office said in a statement that as a result of a Michigan Supreme Court ruling, it has reviewed cases relating to both pending and adjudicated violations of Whitmer’s COVID-19 executive orders and determined there is no legal basis to move ahead with prosecuting them.
“[The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office] will be dismissing all adjudicated cases and all pending cases,” Worthy’s office said in a statement, which indicated the dismissal covers around 100 pending and around 1,680 adjudicated cases.
Between April and October, Whitmer issued a number of executive orders that limited social gatherings and imposed curbs on businesses amid the pandemic, and on their basis police across Michigan issued a number of ordinance violations and misdemeanor citations.
“It is important to note that the dismissal of these cases is not a reflection upon the conduct of any law enforcement agency, since the applicable law was followed at the time of the alleged offenses,” Worthy’s office noted.
In October, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in a split decision that Whitmer did not have authority under either of the state’s two emergency statutes to continue the state of emergency, which was the basis for her restrictions. In its ruling, the high court also found that one of these statutes, the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act, violated the Michigan Constitution.
Whitmer pushed back against the ruling, calling it “deeply disappointing” and saying she “vehemently” disagrees with the court’s interpretation of the Michigan Constitution.
Since the Michigan Supreme Court decision did not go into effect for 21 days following the ruling, Whitmer said her order remained in effect for that time.
“Furthermore, after 21 days, many of the responsive measures I have put in place to control the spread of the virus will continue under alternative sources of authority that were not at issue in today’s ruling,” Whitmer said in a statement.
Following the outbreak of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, Whitmer issued and enforced some of the most restrictive mandates in the country, drawing backlash from residents and fueling multiple anti-lockdown protests.
Worthy said in a statement that while her office would no longer use criminal prosecution to enforce Whitmer’s restrictions, she said, “it is my earnest hope that people will continue to wear face masks, social distance, quarantine when warranted.”