Michigan Supreme Court issues Strike Two for Gov. Whitmer’s vaping ban
By a majority decision of 6-1, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled to refuse to remove a block on Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s statewide flavor ban on vapor products. Just as news was breaking in the early fall of 2019 of a “vaping-related” lung disorder affecting hundreds of youth vapers, Whitmer penned an executive order banning all flavored nicotine-based vapes.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with the Food and Drug Administration have already confirmed on multiple occasions that the true cause of the disease is Black Market THC-containing cartridges laced with vitamin E acetate. Yet surprisingly, this fundamental truth has not swayed Whitmer’s aggressive anti-vaping political stance nor was it offered as a reason for the court’s decision.
Instead, the judges ruled that they would refuse to even hear the case until such time that the lower Court of Appeals could render its opinion first. “The application for leave to appeal prior to decision by the Court of Appeals is considered, and it is DENIED, because the Court is not persuaded that the question presented should be reviewed by this Court before consideration by the Court of Appeals. The motion for stay is DENIED,” reports The Detroit News.
Judicial beatdown for Gov. Whitmer’s vaping ban
The Friday Supreme Court ruling is not the first bump in the legislative road for Gov. Whitmer. Within days of issuing her executive order instituting the flavor ban, two regional vape shops jointly sued the governor, the state, and the department of health while accusing them of instigating “irreparable harm” to their businesses. The plaintiffs also expressed fears of what a vape ban would do to the adult vaping community who are in the throws of quitting smoking.
When Judge Cynthia Diane Stephens of the Michigan Court of Claims issued the initial court ruling in October to temporarily block the flavor ban until more information could be obtained, she seemingly blasted the democrat governor for her apparent rush to judgement.
"Thus, and at this stage of the litigation, defendants have undercut their own assertions of an emergency by the fact that they demurred on taking action for nearly a year, and in the case of some information even longer than that, after they were in possession of the information cited in support of the emergency declaration.”
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Judge Stephens also seemed to show some empathy and concern for the vape shop plaintiffs in her written decision, as well. “Not only has plaintiff A Clean Cigarette lost a significant percentage of its sales and closed several stores due to the ban, the ban will force plaintiff to rebrand itself entirely…In essence, the emergency rules will destroy plaintiff A Clean Cigarette’s business as it currently exists,” she wrote.
Regarding the more recent Supreme Court ruling, Whitmer once again refused to admit defeat. According to ABC News, the governor’s response to the judicial beatdown was, “This decision is wrong. It misreads the law and sets a dangerous precedent of a court second-guessing the expert judgment of public health officials dealing with a crisis.” She then continued her repetitive rants about Michigan’s need to “protect our kids” from the dangers of vaping. Nowhere in her response were the words THC or vitamin E acetate.