Republicans in the Michigan legislature are suing Gov. Whitmer over her new lockdown orders that won’t expire until the end of May:
POLITICO – The Republican-led Michigan Legislature refused Thursday to extend the state’s coronavirus emergency declaration and voted to authorize a lawsuit challenging Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s authority and actions to combat the pandemic.
The step came as hundreds of conservative activists, including some who were openly carrying rifles, returned to the Capitol to denounce her stay-at-home order.
Whitmer wanted lawmakers to extend her emergency declaration by 28 days. It expires late Thursday. But at the same time, she believes she has other powers to respond to the crisis and does not need a legislatively-approved extension except to ensure that health care workers would continue to have special legal protections. She has said the state of emergency will continue regardless, which Republicans dispute and plan to challenge in court.
The declaration is the foundation for Whitmer’s stay-at-home measure, which will remain in effect through May 15, and other directives aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
The executive orders that Whitmer signed today both expire on May 28, 2020 at 11:59pm and they continue a state of emergency and a state of disaster across the State of Michigan. They don’t include her stay-at-home measure.
The House and Senate voted along party lines for a bill — which she will veto — that would temporarily codify many of Whitmer’s orders but not her stay-at-home directive. Restaurants could begin dine-in service on May 16, when bars, casinos, gyms and other places of public accommodations also could reopen. Businesses open to the public would have to adhere to social distancing and other mitigation measures until May 30.
Republicans accused Whitmer of ignoring their input.
“We can no longer allow one person to make decisions for 10 million people,” said Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey of Clarklake.
House Speaker Lee Chatfield, of Levering, said the death toll is “terrible,” but other lives have been “negatively impacted unnecessarily because of how we have handled this pandemic. We believe we you can prioritize public health yet be reasonable in your approach to fighting COVID.”
Republicans only wanted to extend the state of emergency for another week or two, but not 28 days. That wasn’t good enough for Whitmer.
Whitmer, whom the public has supported in polling, on Wednesday rejected Senate Republicans’ proposal for a pair of one-week extensions of the emergency in exchange for giving legislators a say in any future stay-at-home restrictions.
Republicans want her to allow elective medical and dental procedures again and certainty on the date she plans to reopen the economy on a regional basis. Meanwhile, the governor has allowed some businesses, such as lawn-care companies and greenhouses, to resume operating.
Whitmer said Wednesday that Republicans “are acting as though we’re in the midst of a political problem. … This is a public health crisis.” Commercial and residential construction will resume next week.
It’ll be interesting to see if Republicans can win a lawsuit against the governor. I have my doubts, but we’ll see.