On Thursday, Michigan’s House of Representatives moved to sue its governor.
The Republican-led chamber rejected Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s lockdown extension, which would keep the state shuttered ’til May 28th.
Additionally, it voted on a package of bills that would change the way the state deals with the pandemic.
Moreover, it approved a lawsuit in challenge to Gretchen’s authority.
The House passed bills aimed at replacing orders issued by the governor with laws passed via the normal legislative method.
Speaker Lee Chatfield explained to Flint’s ABC12 that, while the GOP’s on board with preventative coronavirus measures, Governor Gretchen’s “unchecked and undemocratic approach” is the wrong way to go about things.
And every area isn’t the same:
“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. The people deserve a better solution, and we can provide it.”
The Party wants to see a more lenient approach.
Republicans have criticized Whitmer’s orders for placing too many restrictions on business and not allowing flexibility for areas with few coronavirus cases to reopen more businesses.
Among the citizenry, not everyone’s pleased with Gretchen’s style — while the legislature met, a protest was held outside Lansing’s Capitol building.
And the clapback’s nothing new. On April 15th, RedState’s Brandon Morse wrote the following:
[She] must be feeling the heat from her own draconian methods of dealing with the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak as she’s now trying to explain why it’s not so bad and not doing a very good job of it.
Appearing on Today, Whitmer explained that her orders to stop people from doing everything from traveling to their own properties in different parts of the state to planting gardens within the bound of their own home won’t be that big of a deal because…
…wait for it…
…there’s snow on the ground.
Meanwhile, people are out of work, out of money, and in need of help.
So Republicans are making a major move.
More from ABC12:
[Speaker Lee] said 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.
The new bills do continue the prohibition of large gatherings but provide for distance learning as schools are closed.
Lee told the news station it’s about balance:
“The idea we (that) want to put an abrupt end to the state of emergency and go back to normal immediately is a lazy political talking point. 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.”
Those bills have already passed the Senate, so now they — say it with me — go to the governor to sign.
I’d say fat chance.
As previously noted by my colleague Jeff Charles — who referred to the governor as “Darth Whitmer” — during a press conference last Friday, Gretchen swore not to relinquish any power:
“With regard to any of the blatantly political conversations about taking executive power away from my office, I’m just going to reiterate for — I don’t know how many — the umpteenth time, I’m not going to sign any bill that takes authority away from me or from any future governor. The powers of the executive office are incredibly important, especially in times of crisis where lives are on the line.”
Okay, but how important are are the powers of checks and balances?
As in California, turmoil’s brewing in Michigan. Eventually, to reference a great Jack Nicholson movie, something’s gotta give. In COVID years, May 28th’s a long ways off.
As relayed by MSN, there are 41,379 confirmed coronavirus cases in the state; 3,789 have succumbed to the illness.
In just one month, 1.2 million in the state have filed for unemployment. That’s nearly a quarter of Michigan’s workforce.
Perhaps the governor — who took office in January 2019 — should lend an ear to her fellow leaders. Before the lawsuit hits.
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