Open Letter to Our Governor

Monday, July 13th, at the zoom meeting of the Livingston County Board of Commissioners, I gave a presentation concerning your EO 147. The question I asked was, “What are the limits her power under the emergency powers acts (1945, 1976)?”  The courts have given every indication that there is no urgency (emergency) in Michigan.  They have not told us what limits may be placed upon the office of governor, one person acting as though she has unrestricted authority over any area affected by Covid.

Many of my colleagues agreed that this order is a step too far and that individual choice by a responsible citizenry is sufficient response.

My rationale for this letter is very simple. There are 5 words contained in two phrases that are at the center of this issue. The first three-word phrase from the 1945 Act is “life and property.” The second phrase from the 1976 Act is “28 days.”

The phrase “life and property” clearly infers that it applies to situations where normal policing agencies are or may be overwhelmed by civil unrest, violence, riots, looting, and such like. The authority under conditions of civil unrest is rightfully in place until control is reestablished. It is naturally assumed that each area may be treated differently because of special local conditions. No such corollary can be applied to the situation here, which was a health crisis.

The second phrase “28 days” is found in the 1976 statute. This law gives you broader authority to declare an “emergency.” You rightly use this declaration to apply for Federal Money and to open the State’s purse to help with a snow storm or the failure of a dam, and a myriad of other disasters. There is no argument that the corona/Covid-19 pandemic falls under this authority. When you were confronted with the words “28 days”, and the legislature’s unwillingness to extend your unilateral powers granted by law, how did you react? Did you make a working relationship with the other representatives of the people as is expected by the words of the law? Or did you ignore the clear words of the written law and act on your own, stepping outside of your gubernatorial authority?

Do you expect the courts to say “28 days” has some hidden meaning? Do you think the courts can say that “Life and property” actually means “life and/or property?” Do you think the courts will grant you unlimited, unending authority to act after you have declared any emergency that in your mind meets the definition? The drug epidemic could be called an emergency.  Would that give you unilateral power to make laws without the legislature?

It is clear in my mind that you are acting beyond your legal authority if the natural meanings of the words of the law are upheld.

There are multiple studies on masks with multiple conclusions on both sides of the mask issue regarding the effectiveness of 100% usage of face coverings. You have chosen one side of the scientific arguments and have made it a criminal offense to act according to another equal supported view. You have encouraged citizens to publicly confront other citizens who may have a different view. I have friends who medically cannot wear a mask. You have asked your supporters to publicly shame them.

You have given no warning or directives concerning the length of time a mask should be worn or how it should be disposed of without the person being infected by the diseases that it has collected while “giving protection”. People should know the dangers of bacterial growth and fungal growth in the warm, dark, moist environment of a mask. What about the dangers of limiting oxygen intake?

So far as I can see, you have not addressed these important considerations. You may say people have common sense to know how to wear a mask safely. I would say the same common sense will tell people how to be safe and not spread virus/germs without universal covering of the face.

I would ask all my constituents to write a short note to you to express their support or opposition for your actions that in my mind have no legal basis.

Sincerely for liberty,

Douglas Helzerman

Livingston County Commissioner #4

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