Michigan Judge Rules Against Governor on Lockdown Restrictions

An Otsego County judge ruled with local business and against Gov. Whitmer on her authority to implement a lockdown.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Otsego County Michigan Judge Colin Hunter ruled in favor of the Iron Pig Smokehouse on Friday, handing down the decision that the governor was outside of her jurisdiction to impose lockdown restrictions, The Gateway Pundit reported.
  • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services attempted to impose a $5,000 fine on the establishment for allowing in-person dining, according to political activist Jenny Beth Martin.
  • The ruling came after the restaurant sued Whitmer in May of 2021 over the fines and loss of business stemming from the governor’s orders.
THE JUDGE’S OPINION: 
  • “Acting under the authority granted in MCL 333.2253, however, is not difficult as it requires mere determination and pen-stroke of but one individual, and allows for an unprecedented broad use of power to affect every aspect of Michiganders’ daily lives,” Justice Hunter said in his opinion
  • “Such immense authority being exercised by an administrative official … therefore, poses even more serious risks to the liberty of each and every citizen of Michigan, unless the safeguards and standards are placed by the legislature … [over] the exercise of such power.”
  • “Drawing from the broad authority of MCL 333.2253 if the director determines that e-cigarettes use constitutes an epidemic, the director could prohibit gathers of any nature for any purpose, could establish procedures to be followed during the ‘epidemic’ to ensure [the] continuation of essential public health and enforcement health laws.”
BACKGROUND:
  • The Iron Pig and the governor’s office initially clashed last May when the Northern Michigan restaurant owner sued Whitmore for $25,000 in damages over the governor’s order, which they asserted was outside her scope of authority, according to the Detroit Eater.
  • Owner Ian Murphy’s suit says that the governor closed his business so “that it was unable to operate, unable to earn an income, and unable to function in any way.”
  • The restaurant has outlined its ongoing battle with the state of Michigan, including selling copies of their suspended liquor license, on their Instagram account.