It has been said that unprecedented times require unprecedented measures. While many were in favor of various state governors’ stay-at-home orders, there is growing concern that some of those orders during the coronavirus pandemic may have exceeded their authority to execute the law and, in effect, may have usurped the power of the legislature and caused businesses to fail and workers to lose their jobs without sufficient legal justification.

The U.S. Constitution and the Florida Constitution rest upon the principle of separation of powers, with checks and balances among the co-equal legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. The framers of our Constitution gave the President the primary duty to “take care that the laws [of Congress] be faithfully executed.” Similarly, the Florida Constitution requires the governor to “execute the laws of the state” and “take care that the laws [of the Legislature] be faithfully executed.”

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