On Wednesday evening, lawyers from Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP filed an amicus brief in the Michigan Supreme Court in a lawsuit challenging Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Orders designed to combat the spread of COVID-19. The case, In Re Certified Questions, Grand Health Partners v. Whitmer, was originally filed in federal court in the Western District of Michigan, and was certified to the Michigan Supreme Court to resolve novel and complex questions of Michigan state law. At issue is whether the Governor acted within her statutory and constitutional authority when she encouraged social distancing, face-coverings, and sanitation practices for certain businesses and health care facilities.
The firm represents a group of leading Michigan epidemiologists, front-line physicians, and public health scholars, who support the Governor’s position. Specifically, the brief relies upon the best available scientific data and models to demonstrate the necessity of the Governor’s Orders from a public health perspective. The brief shows that in absence of the Orders in question, 28,000 more cases would likely have occurred, resulting in approximately 3,500 more lives lost in Michigan. To lift the Governor’s measures prematurely and remove her ability to implement and reimplement emergency measures quickly would come at a grave cost.
Joshua Matz, Raymond Tolentino, Jonathan Kay, and Mahrah Taufique contributed to the brief, which can be read in full here. Kaplan Hecker & Fink previously filed similar briefs on behalf of the same group of amici in parallel cases in federal court in Michigan.