On Thursday, the Republican-led House in Michigan rejected a 28-day coronavirus emergency lockdown order extension from Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Instead, the legislative body voted to authorize a lawsuit challenging the Democrat’s authority.
“Whitmer asked the Legislature to approve a 28-day extension of the emergency declaration, which expires Thursday night,” ABC 12 News reported. Instead, the House voted to allow Speaker Lee Chatfield to sue the governor over her “unchecked and undemocratic approach” in handling the virus.
“Members of the Republican-led House passed bills that would replace a series of orders issued by Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer with state laws passed through the normal democratic process, according to Speaker Lee Chatfield,” the report said. “He said Republicans support decisive action to prevent the spread of coronavirus, but Whitmer’s ‘unchecked and undemocratic approach’ is not the best way.”
“The current status quo relies on one-size-fits-all edicts that unfairly punish millions of people across the state without giving them any recourse or voice in the process,” said Chatfield, according to ABC 12. “The people deserve a better solution, and we can provide it.”
Whitmer’s draconian and bizarrely inconsistent lockdown measures have sparked protests demanding the state be liberated. “The latest round of protests came on Thursday as the emergency order was set to expire,” The Daily Wire noted. “Many protesters, some carrying firearms, entered the state capitol building after the weather turned sour.”
“Directly above me, men with rifles yelling at us. Some of my colleagues who own bullet proof vests are wearing them. I have never appreciated our Sergeants-at-Arms more than today,” wrote state Sen. Dayna Polehanki (D) on Twitter.
Directly above me, men with rifles yelling at us. Some of my colleagues who own bullet proof vests are wearing them. I have never appreciated our Sergeants-at-Arms more than today. #mileg pic.twitter.com/voOZpPYWOs
— Senator Dayna Polehanki (@SenPolehanki) April 30, 2020
Earlier this month, thousands of protesters hit the capitol to call for an end to the statewide lockdown order in a protest dubbed “operation gridlock.” Additionally, at least four sheriffs announced they will not be enforcing some of the governor’s orders, calling them an “overstepping” of executive authority.
According to Chatfield, ABC 12 reported, “one bill replaces nearly all of Whitmer’s orders currently in effect without any loss of critical protections, including protections against price gouging and extensions of tax deadlines,” adding, “The bills include provisions for distance learning while schools are closed and a continued ban on large gatherings.”
“The idea we want to put an abrupt end to the state of emergency and go back to normal immediately is a lazy political talking point,” Chatfield said. “We all agree Michigan must continue taking strong steps to fight the spread of this disease. But we can both protect the public health and protect the individual people who make up our great state.”
Whitmer has “promised to veto any legislation that curtails emergency authority for herself or any future governor,” the report noted. “Whitmer has said that her emergency authority is not tied to State of Emergency extension, so her orders will continue based on other state laws.”
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