Michiganders are petitioning to end Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s dictatorial approach to handling the coronavirus pandemic in their state.
The Republican-controlled Legislature has been at Whitmer’s heels regarding her abuse of her gubernatorial powers, such as her continual extension of a highly restrictive stay-at-home order over the span of months despite legislative disapproval.
They filed a lawsuit against her in May, but Whitmer fought back by citing a 1945 law vague enough to enable her overreaching restrictions to reign over the entire state.
Michigan Radio detailed some of the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945, stating that its language doesn’t require the approval of the Legislature in declaring a state of emergency, and that once declared, the governor can “designate the area involved,” therefore not limiting her from designating the entire state.
Although the Legislature alone has failed to stop her, citizens are exercising their power to end her limitless reign through a petition to repeal the 1945 law.
According to The Associated Press, more than 400,000 signatures have been raised within only two months, almost reaching a goal of 500,000.
If at least 345,000 signatures are “deemed valid by the state elections board,” the Legislature can repeal the 1945 law in-house without a public vote while nullifying Whitmer’s ability to veto their bill.
Unlock Michigan has been campaigning for signatures, hosting petition signing events throughout the state.
Attempting to reach both Republican and Democrat voters, the group challenged the public to consider the implications of the limitless powers Whitmer has displayed during the pandemic so far, spokesman Fred Wszolek said.
“No one should think that allowing a politician to have unlimited power for an unlimited duration is a good idea,” Wszolek said. “Put the shoe on the other foot and decide if you think this is a good idea because at some time in your future the shoe will be on the other foot.”
Sometimes we might wish that politicians we support had great power to make changes we immediately want, but what happens when voters replace that person with someone who has opposing views?
That is why checks and balances are important, and why requiring a governor to get the approval of the Legislature protects citizens from easily falling under the yoke of foolish executive orders.
Whitmer has begun lifting her coronavirus orders since June, yet her stance on masks remains extreme, threatening to temporarily suspend licenses of uncompliant businesses or charge uncompliant citizens with misdemeanors, according to Executive Order 2020-147.
She has called the petition drive “irresponsible, dangerous and foolish,” according to the Detroit Free Press.
The governor retweeted a video uploaded by Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services showing a montage of social settings completely empty of anyone, including a symphony hall, a football stadium, a wedding reception and a high school hallway — but with the audio of human commotion expected in these environments underlying the whole video.
— Michigan HHS Dept (@MichiganHHS) September 15, 2020
This video illustrates the amount of power Whitmer has over the social lives of her citizens. She can dictate whether you may have a marriage ceremony attended by friends and family, or your kids can go to school, all while peddling the message: “Spread Hope, Not COVID.”
The video may begin with, “This is just an intermission,” but without the ability of Michigan’s Legislature to restrict her, Whitmer can unilaterally determine when an “intermission” begins, what is restricted during its duration, and how long it lasts before it ends.
Does this seem constitutional?
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