A lawyer for the chiropractor said Governor Gretchen Whitmer's administration had repeatedly violated state law.
A Michigan chiropractor has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) alleging the state's latest mask mandate is illegal.
Michigan DHHS director Robert Gordon recently granted a nationwide mask mandate, according to MLive.com. Gordon's order came shortly after many of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's executive measures against the coronavirus were invalidated by the State Supreme Court.
According to MLive.com, state law gives the Department of Health and Human Services the power to "prohibit the gathering of people" and "establish procedures" during an epidemic.
However, Semlow Peak Performance Chiropractic in Grand Haven, Michigan has filed a lawsuit against the state.
Earlier this month, Ottawa County served Semlow with an injunction for failing to enforce mandatory mask requirements. A company attorney, David Kallman, described the county ruling as a form of "overreach".
"It's a state government overshoot," Kallman told MLive.com. "It's an abuse of power by dictating all sorts of things that the law doesn't allow."
Kristina Wieghmink, a spokeswoman for the Ottawa Department of Health, said the Semlow Peak Performance Chiropractic has been violating Michigan mask mandates for months. According to Wieghmink, the district has been receiving complaints about Semlow since July.
Then-Senator Gretchen Whitmer gave a speech in 2011. Image via Flickr / User: swskeptic. (CCA-BY-2.0).
Wieghmink also stated that contrary to Kallman's claim that Semlow was "closed without warning," the department had sent the company numerous emails about its non-compliance.
Grand Haven police were later forced to visit Semlow after the chiropractic bureau refused to cooperate. Local staff reportedly told officials they had no plans to change their strategy to mitigate the coronavirus or not.
Semlow later sent an email to the Ottawa County Department of Health in which one person – believed to be the owner – labeled public health officials "terrorists" and accused them of harming the company's economic well-being.
MLive.com notes that this isn't the first time Kallman has worked on.
At the beginning of this year, Kallman represented the hairdresser Karl Manke from the Owosso region in a lawsuit against the state. Michigan had issued several quotes against Manke trying to revoke his barber's license to run a non-essential business when Governor Whitmer's instructions specifically forbade him to do so.
Kallman said while Michigan is clearly facing an epidemic, the extent of the powers of Gordon and the DHHS needs to be clarified.
“Where does he get the authority to ask for masks? Where does he get the authority to request contact tracing? “Asked Kallman. "He doesn't have the authority to do any of this. He has the power to prohibit gatherings. Period. That's it."
Kallman suggested that Robert's masked mandates are an example of Governor Whitmer's administration trying to disregard the recent Supreme Court decision.
In the 4-3 majority opinion of the judges, they recommended Whitmer to work with the state
"So what is she doing?" Asked Kallman. “She ignores it. She just points her nose at the Supreme Court and says, "I don't care, I'll only do things one way the way I want to do them."
However, Kallman seemed keen to show that he is not trying to downplay the severity of the novel coronavirus outbreak but is just holding officials accountable for the rule of law.
"People think I'm against the mask or something or I'm against people's safety," he said. “That's not the problem here. Things have to be done right legally. "
"(Whitmer) has to obey the law," added Kallman. "That's all we say."
Chiropractor objects to Michigan's new mask mandate in a lawsuit
The Michigan Health Department issued a mask mandate after the Supreme Court denied Whitmer's orders