On Wednesday, three GOP Michigan members of the House of Representatives introduced House Resolution 324, which calls for the impeachment of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Reps. Beau LaFave, Matt Maddock and Daire Rendon wrote in the resolution: “Gretchen E. Whitmer has acted in conflict with her constitutional duties as Governor. She has exceeded her constitutional authority, violated the constitutional rights of the people of Michigan, issued orders that are not in the best interests of the people of this state, and used the Pandemic as an opportunity to reward political allies.”
Regarding exceeding “her constitutional authority,” the resolution states:
Governor Whitmer has issued dozens of executive orders which have been expansive in scope and have reordered life for every person in the state. The orders include, but are not limited, to: prohibiting evictions … banning non-essential medical procedures … permitting public bodies to meet electronically … permitting public bodies to delay fulfilment of public records requests … closing businesses, and requiring residents to stay in their homes with limited exceptions. Through these orders, Governor Whitmer has unilaterally overridden legislatively enacted laws — including, but not limited, to the Revised Judicature Act, the Open Meetings Act, and the Freedom of Information Act — and created new laws in violation of the separation of powers guaranteed in the state constitution.
State law grants emergency powers to the Governor for the purpose of responding to immediate crises, but the Governor may only act in a manner that is consistent with the constitutionally mandated separation of powers. The state constitution does not permit the Governor to bypass the legislative process nor does it empower her to unilaterally make or amend laws for the protection of public health.
Regarding violating “the constitutional rights of the people of Michigan,” the resolution listed executive orders restricting the free exercise of religion, then states:
These orders have limited the number of people who may gather in one place and restricted individuals’ ability to leave their homes to participate in religious worship and events. While the Governor’s later orders have included language indicating that places of worship and individuals participating in religious practices would not be subject to criminal penalties for violating the orders, the restriction itself – even if not enforced via criminal process in all circumstances – is a direct violation of the constitutional rights of the people of Michigan.
Regarding the issuance of orders not in the best interests of the people of this state, the resolution argued:
Governor Whitmer banned all non-essential medical, dental, and veterinary procedures … (her) stay-at-home orders … have only granted exceptions for people leaving their residences to seek medical or dental care to treat a medical emergency or when necessary to preserve a person’s health or safety. This universal, state-wide prohibition on medical, dental, and veterinary care that the Governor has deemed ‘non-essential’ has had significant consequences for the people of Michigan and for health care providers across our state.
While postponing some elective procedures may not pose an immediate health risk to patients, many procedures have been banned even though they are still needed to preserve patients’ quality of life and long-term well-being. … Numerous other states have determined it is safe and appropriate to ease their restrictions on elective medical treatments as the stress on their healthcare systems from COVID-19 abated, but Governor Whitmer continued to impose onerous limitations on important health care on a state-wide basis …
Regarding the “reward of policial allies,” the resolution claims that Whitmer “sought to direct a no-bid contract for COVID-19 contact tracing to a partisan political firm, utilizing state resources to reward political allies. The state announced in April 2020 that it had approved a contract to use the platform EveryAction VAN to help track information and contacts and to help organize phone banking for the purposes of contact tracing. EveryAction VAN has direct ties to people and organizations that perform political work for political parties, organizations, and candidates in Michigan.”