Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP Files Amicus Briefs in Michigan Federal Court Supporting Michigan Public Health Measures on Behalf of Leading Epidemiologists and Public Health Scholars

By: 
Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP
Published on:
June 15, 2020

On Friday evening, lawyers from Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP filed amicus briefs in the Western District of Michigan in two cases challenging the legality of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency Executive Orders designed to address the COVID-19 pandemic, Sothebeys v. Whitmer and Mitchell v. Whitmer. In both cases, individuals and businesses alleged constitutional challenges to Governor Whitmer's orders. 

The firm represents a group of leading Michigan epidemiologists and public health scholars who are uniquely positioned to present a scientific perspective on the dangers of the pandemic in Michigan. The briefs demonstrate – with reliance on the best available scientific data and models – that in absence of the orders in question, 28,000 more cases would likely have occurred to date, 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.  Thus, amici support the Governor’s motions to dismiss plaintiffs’ challenges to her Orders.

“Governor Whitmer’s executive orders have saved thousands of lives in Michigan,” said Joshua Matz, partner at Kaplan Hecker & Fink. “As our clients explain in this brief, to invalidate those orders would be to risk disaster. This is consistent with common sense and confirmed by state of the art epidemiological models. Without a vaccine, our best (and often only) defense against the virus is swift, forceful, and nimble government action based on high quality scientific data. Courts should not destroy that defense.”

Jonathan Kay, associate at Kaplan Hecker & Fink, added that “our clients aren’t political strategists – they’re scientists who are deeply concerned about the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan. And as they make clear, the Governor's emergency orders are firmly grounded in cutting edge science that should carry the day.”

Read the full amicus briefs here and here. Joshua Matz, Raymond Tolentino, Jonathan Kay, and Mahrah Taufique contributed to the briefs.

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